South Dakota Crane operator training, licensing and safety information

South Dakota crane operators

Licensing information

As of today there are no licensing requirements to operate a Crane. Please note this could change at any time. Below are three links that can help keep you up to date for any changes to the Sate laws.


If you have not obtained your OSHA Accredited Crane Operator Certificate, click the link now!!!


News Articles

OSHA fines SD contractor $95K in trench collapse

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited and fined a South Dakota contractor in relation to a non-fatal May 2017 trench collapse.

OSHA alleges that Fort Pierre, SD–based First Dakota Enterprises did not provide adequate trench protection systems and did not conduct regular inspections of the 14-foot trench in question. The agency cited the company with one serious and two repeat safety violations and suggested a $95,064 fine.

Unlike many trench collapses, workers were able to clear enough debris from around the victim, allowing him to breath as rescue crews extricated him from the dirt-filled trench.


Cranes on the Rise!
They’re everywhere. If you live or work in a high rise, you might be on eye level with them. On the street, you see them soaring from construction sites. They look a little like the bird version of the same name, angling their long, graceful necks into the sky. There are two kinds of cranes: lattice cranes, which operate from a cab on the ground, and tower cranes, which operate aloft and move up and down an elevator.

If you’re seeing more tower cranes, it’s because they take up less room in an urban environment, according to Greg Lalevee, head of Local 825, the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). When you see one of these monsters lifting a giant steel girder that swings in the breeze like Godzilla’s toothpick, you probably have the same thought I have:
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What if this thing falls on my head? Fortunately, the IUOE spends $150 million a year on training. “Operating a crane is like flying a plane on any given day,” Lalevee says. “You have to make sure it’s maintained properly like an airplane.” Lalevee, who comes from a family of crane operators—father and two brothers—started operating cranes in the 1980s and stopped when he was hired by the union in 2000. “When I was 10 years old, my father was working on a high school in our home town, and in the summertime, I went down and watched for a couple of hours,” Lalevee says.

But being a legacy crane-operator-wannabe isn’t enough. “You have to have the desire and aptitude to do it,” Lalevee says. “You need technical knowledge and coordination. It’s a lot of responsibility.” Spoiler alert! You can’t be afraid of heights. Lalavee describes the frightening possibility that a crane operator might have to walk on an aluminum plank between the building and the crane, 700 feet in the air.

“Our members are the best prepared and most experienced crane operators available anywhere,” Lalavee says. “They are precisely the people you want where precision and safety come together.”


*It is essential that you check with your local government and confirm that the information listed above is still good today. This information should only be used as a tool to help you figure out what type of license you need to operate certain types of equipment.



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