Oklahoma Operator Licensing Advisory Board Formed

The State of Oklahoma is moving closer toward crane operator licensing after recent construction-related deaths. State Labor Commissioner Lloyd Fields and construction industry leaders met this month to begin drafting proposals, according to an article on newsok.com.

Fields has formulated an advisory board for crane and aerial lift safety which includes 12 construction experts. The group will meet in December to map out plans for a new state law. A legislator would then have to present a bill for consideration in 2009.

Oklahoma currently requires no license for heavy equipment operators, and Fields has been reviewing certification programs in 14 other states for ideas. A crane or aerial lift operator’s license would require a written test, training, experience and a physical test.

Fields said he thinks construction companies foresee tighter restrictions ahead. “For the industry it’s kind of like being a surfer who sees a wave. If you don’t get on it you’re going to crash, and if you do, you’ll have a smooth ride,” he said.