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By November 2014, articulating boom crane operators must be certified. They will need to prove their skills in proctored exam settings, such as how they can position a live load test as shown here.

MOST PRODUCERS THINK their involvement in crane operator training refers to large gantry cranes or mobile pickers used for plant repairs. But in the next few months, they may need to change their safety programs. Producers who use truck-mounted articulating cranes to deliver and position precast elements at jobsites should review OSHA's new rules for Cranes and Derricks in Construction—29 CFR 1926, Subpart CC. The new rules went into effect in November 2010.

This update was the first major comprehensive review of the crane standard in more than two decades. OSHA reports that 89 deaths associated with crane mishaps occurred annually at construction sites in the years leading up to the new rule. The new standards would save about 21 lives and reduce crane accidents by about 190 per year, OSHA says.

A major focus of the new rules was on truck-mounted cranes, which were not prevalent when the crane ruling was first written. OSHA has adopted the same approach to the operation of the articulating boom cranes as with large cranes. The new rules mandate operator certification. In fact, all crane operators must be certified by November 2014. Producers who use articulating truck-mounted cranes must prepare for this deadline.

If your drivers/operators are required to place the element on a specific place at a jobsite, they must be certified. OSHA says that crane operators who deliver common construction commodities such as drywall, bagged products, or supplies to stockyards or staging areas could be exempt. Most safety experts advise that all employees who operate articulating cranes become certified.

The OSHA rules also outline that operators must be certified for the specific type of articulating crane they use. The certification procedures are for articulating boom cranes, articulating boom loaders, articulating boom cranes with winch, and articulating boom cranes and boom loaders. Operators seeking certification must pass a written and practical test for each crane type.

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCC-CO) has taken the lead in this matter. NCCCO has a unique relationship with OSHA. Operators who have passed NCCCO certification programs are recognized by OSHA as verified operators.

Most producers find it advantageous to offer their operators review courses before taking the exams. Overton Safety Training Inc. is an accredited provider of the NCCCO Preparation Classes for articulating cranes and at least 23 other specific hoisting operations and equipment types. Drawing on this experience, Overton recently published a training course for members of the National Concrete Burial Vault Association.

Visit the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators at www.nccco.org. For more on preparatory training courses, visit Overton Safety Training at www.overtonsafety.com.


World of Concrete Offers Crane Training Courses

New in 2013, the World of Concrete Educational Program will offer an eight-hour workshop on how to teach safety to articulating crane operators. Participants will be qualified and authorized as in-house instructors to teach rules and regulations for the safe use of articulating cranes, as they prepare their operators to pass the NCCCO Articulating Boom Crane Operator National Certification exams.

Students will also receive a complete Trainer's Kit ($695 value) containing a Trainers Manual, 10 120-page workbooks, a PowerPoint presentation, record forms, and practice quizzes. Students can sign up to take the NCCCO National Certification written exam and the NCCCO practical exam. Participants successfully completing both exams will receive NCCCO Operator Certification cards to meet the federal crane requirements. Visit www.worldofconcrete.com.