Summer 2013

Stand by for New England Crane School's 2013/2014 schedule

Our 2013 – 2014 schedule will be out in late summer, after we’ve had time to assess how many operator classes we should run. There will be at least one signal/rigging class in October or November, in addition to our regular schedule of signal/rigging classes throughout the winter. Be sure to keep in touch with us about your needs for public classes, since we often schedule class dates and locations based on our customers’ requests. And of course we are always available for onsite classes at your company’s facilities at any time.

What’s Going On with the Proposed Extension for Operator Certification?


Most of you have probably heard by now that in May of this year, OSHA announced that it would propose extending the deadline for operator certification from November of 2014 to November of 2017. If you were proactive in getting certified already, you are ahead of the curve and that’s a good thing. Some insurance carriers give discounts for certified operators, so you should check into that. And remember that regardless of when the certification requirement goes into effect, employers are already required to provide a safe working environment and ensure that operators are qualified to operate equipment; this hasn’t changed, and certification remains a viable way to ensure baseline competency for operators.

Here are some of the most frequent questions we’ve been fielding lately with answers from our testing provider, Crane Institute Certification (CIC), and some added notes from us:

Question: What is the new compliance date deadline for operators to be certified?
Answer from CIC: At this time, OSHA has proposed extension to November 10, 2017. It has not affirmed this date or that the date will definitely be extended.

Question:  If OSHA extends the enforcement date for crane operator certification, would OSHA require a crane operator to be certified or recertified before November 10, 2017?

Answer from CIC: Many employers, states and cities require accredited certification of crane operators. Whether OSHA does or does not extend the deadline, the requirements from employers, states and cities still exist. CIC cannot predict what OSHA will ultimately do, but CIC stays in regular contact with OSHA. CIC is in compliance and will maintain compliance to provide certifications with merit to the industry.

A note from NECS: Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine do not have their own licensing programs, and to the best of our knowledge there are no plans to create one. We anticipate that if the extension proposal does pass, operators in these states will not be required to certify any earlier than 2017 unless their employer or insurance company requires it, or unless they need to operate in other states that do have a requirement. MA, CT, RI and NY continue to have their own licensing programs. We have recently learned that MA plans to modify its regulations so that an operator with a nationally accredited certification such as CIC need only pay the state licensing fee to receive a Mass. hoisting license (but we don’t know when that will take place).

Question: What is an employer's obligation with respect to its operators right now?

Answer from CIC: Until November 10, 2014, OSHA requires that:

  • the employer must ensure that operators of cranes covered by the standard are competent to safely operate the equipment;

  • when an employee assigned to operate machinery does not have the required knowledge or ability to operate the equipment safely, the employer must train that employee prior to operating the equipment and ensure that each operator is evaluated to confirm that he/she understands the information provided in the training

Question: Should I wait until OSHA makes a decision about extending the compliance date to get my operators certified?
Answer from CIC: No, accredited crane operator certification is a valid means of assessing an operator’s knowledge, skills, and ability, and it is a first step in helping employers assess whether an operator has the ability to safely operate a category of equipment.

Note from NECS: We continue to believe that it’s a good idea to get a jump on the requirement. Certifying your operators ensures that you can compete for jobs with GCs that require certification, and it may also save you money on your insurance rates. Also, it’s possible that this extension could stay under debate for quite some time and also possible that it may not pass. Having said that, we do anticipate that some of you will decide to wait, and for that reason we will probably run a much more limited schedule of public operator certification classes this coming season.  Be sure to let us know what your plans are so we can schedule an appropriate number of classes in the locations that make the most sense for our customers.

Question: Why did OSHA propose this extension in the first place?

Answer from NECS: The current OSHA regulation requires certification by type and capacity. There are four nationally accredited certification providers, and all of them certify by type but only two of them certify by capacity, and two of them don’t (The NCCCO and the union are the two that don’t). The testing providers that didn’t meet the capacity requirement  lobbied for OSHA to re-examine the regulations because operators holding their certifications would be out of compliance in 2014, and after discussions OSHA finally responded that they would propose this extension in order to take a closer look at the issue. The good news is that CIC has always tested by type and capacity, so whether or not OSHA decides to change the type and capacity requirement, operators with CIC certifications will be in compliance.

CIC was in Washington, DC a couple weeks ago to speak with senators and OSHA officials on these issues, and they met with members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP). Here is an excerpt from a pending CIC press release:

“The HELP Committee members we met with, including Democrats and Republicans, were unanimously concerned about this proposed compliance delay and voiced their desire to support an inquiry to the Department of Labor and OSHA. The HELP Committee will seek an explanation as to why a delay, and possible rewrite of the new standard, is necessary, despite its development as a consensus crane standard,” said Tony Brown, a crane safety and labor consultant and CIC Public Awareness Committee member.

“There appears to be more behind the push to delay the implementation date than just questions over interpretation of the standard,” said Brian S, Hope, CSP, corporate safety manager with Caldwell Tanks and CIC Pubic Awareness Committee member. “After visiting with OSHA officials, it appears that the agency desires to change the regulation in order to increase the opportunity for citations. If this truly is the motivation, OSHA has lost its focus on ensuring the safety and health of American workers, and it is a terrible blow to employers.”

We will keep you posted as we hear more, and please don't hesitate to contact us with questions in the meantime.

Customer Profile: Tyler Mayo from BGM, Inc. Takes Second Place in Regional Rodeo

Tyler Mayo, second place winner

The MCM and CIC annual crane operator rodeo series kicked off this year on June 27th, sponsored by Cranes 101 of Bellingham, MA and hosted by Woods CRW at their new facility in North Oxford, MA. The rodeo series, now in its third year, was developed by Maximum Capacity Media, publisher of Crane & Rigging Hot Line magazine, and Crane Institute Certification, a nationally accredited crane operator certification provider, to underscore the need for safe crane operation.

Eleven operators competed in the first rodeo, completing a timed skills test which included placing the crane’s headache ball into barrels without landing the ball or hitting any barrels, maneuvering 55-gallon drums full of water through a barrel-lined obstacle course, and raising a 10-foot pipe laying on the ground to a vertical position then placing it between a set of cones. Each test was monitored by the judges for load control, depth perception, and accuracy.

The winner of the June 27th competition was Dave Sandel of Sandel Cranes. Tyler Mayo of BGM Inc., who recently completed his CIC operator certification with New England Crane School, earned the second place spot. Both operators ran Woods CRW’s National 14000 boom truck—a crane model that Mayo said he operates regularly at his company. (The other crane available for the competition was a Link-Belt RTC 8065 rough-terrain crane.)

BGM Inc. is a steel erection company based in Hardwick, Vermont and owned by Tyler’s uncle, Rod Mayo. BGM has been in business since 1994 and in addition to a National 1400 they also own a 30-ton Terex RT-230. “We have a strong safety record,” says Claire Mayo, Rod’s wife and business partner. “Rod likes to keep the company small with a family-like atmosphere, and our people are highly competent operators who get a lot of seat time in our cranes.” Rod also completed his CIC certification with New England Crane School this year, along with another BGM employee.

New England Crane School co-founder Larry DeBattiste, competing on a Link Belt

Also competing in the rodeo event were New England Crane School trainer Frank Donahue and co-founder Larry DeBattiste. Rick Hutchins of Hutch Crane Service, which hosts one of New England Crane School’s practical exam sites, came in a close third in the competition.

Nine other crane operator skills competitions are scheduled to take place before the National Championship is held next March at ConExpo 2014 in Las Vegas. As the top two competitors in the June 27th competition, Sandel and Mayo will be going to Vegas to compete in the Nationals.  

“I’ve never been to Vegas before,” Tyler said. “I’m pretty psyched about that.”

For more information about the rodeo series visit

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