+1 303-817-5663
summer 2017
OSHA Update on Operator Certification Deadline

By Anna DeBattiste

It never fails. A few days after my last newsletter, in which I insisted the OSHA deadline for operator certification was not going to move again, OSHA announced the exact opposite. Although it has not yet been officially published, OSHA recently stated its intention to delay by another year in order to return to rule-making, and on June 20, ACCSH (the advisory committee making recommendations to OSHA on the crane rule) voted to endorse the delay.


Why delay again? The issue of certification capacity is once again the primary reason, as well as the issue of the employer’s duty to ensure operator qualification. During the return to rule-making, OSHA will consider ACCSH’s draft proposed regulatory text from 2015, which includes the following:

  • The draft proposal leaves the certification requirement and process essentially unchanged, except for the removal of the requirement for certification by capacity.
  • Evaluation responsibilities for employers are described. An operator must be trained, certified/licensed, and evaluated by employers before operating a crane. An operator who has not been certified and evaluated by an employer is an operator-in-training, and can only operate a crane under continuous supervision.
  • Employers must evaluate operators on the type of equipment they will operate. This does not mean the exact same crane, but the same make and model will suffice. The evaluation must assess the operator's:
    • Skills to operate the equipment safely, including the configuration in which the equipment will be used
    • Knowledge and judgment to make sound determinations about safe operation
    • Ability to use load charts and follow manufacturer procedures
    • Ability to perform assigned hoisting activities
    • Practical knowledge of signaling, setup, assembly/disassembly, driving, inspection, maintenance, and shutdown, as applicable
  • Employer must provide documentation to the operator and on-site that the operator can carry as proof of assessment.
  • The employer must annually re-evaluate, and when warranted.
  • A controlling contractor who authorizes a crane service must either:
    • Check the operator's documentation as a qualified operator, or evaluate the operator themselves
    • If an operator-in-training, the controlling contractor must ensure constant supervision


For those of you who want to be proactive, you can read a summary of the draft proposal on the OSHA website here. You should also go to the full text of the draft proposal here, and scroll down to appendix D on page 12 for a copy of the proposed documentation for employer evaluation. This is basically what you will be required to provide for each of your operators on an annual basis to show that they are qualified, assuming the proposed regulation passes.


As always, I am available for questions, complaints, gripes, and just plain venting! When and if the draft proposal passes, New England Crane School will also be available for consulting to help you get your operator evaluation program up and running. Email me at anna@newenglandcraneschool.com, or call 303-817-5663.

Women in the Crane Industry Look Beyond Mere Compliance

Women in the crane industry are rare, which makes it noteworthy that three female business owners have teamed up to promote NCCER crane-related training programs: Anna DeBattiste, owner of New England Crane School; Jennifer Sturm, president of Cranes 101; and Debbie Dickinson, CEO of Crane Industry Services. Both New England Crane School and Cranes 101 are now providers of NCCER certification programs under the sponsorship of Crane Industry Services.


The partnership came about primarily due to a common interest in a more comprehensive approach to training and certification. NCCER offers far more than just crane operator, signal person and rigger certification. NCCER, which stands for National Center for Construction Education and Research, is a well-respected organization founded in 1996 as a non-profit education foundation, and was developed with the support of more than 125 construction CEOs and various association and academic leaders who united to revolutionize training for the construction industry. NCCER offers curricula for more than 70 craft areas and more than 70 assessments, and once a candidate develops a training and/or evaluation record in the NCCER system, s/he can continue to build upon this transcript and use it to document qualification in any construction-related field. From carpentry to electrical, pipeline to power industry, NCCER has programs for everyone in the construction and maintenance industry.


“Currently New England Crane School is offering crane operator certifications, qualified signal person, and basic rigging certifications to our customers, but we plan to eventually branch into other trade areas,” said Anna DeBattiste, president, NECS. NCCER offers dozens of construction craft programs and credentials from boilermaking to welding. “We are pleased with NCCER’s customer service and the availability of a comprehensive curriculum beyond just crane operator certification,” said DeBattiste.


Jennifer Sturm, president of Cranes101, comments, “Cranes101 is happy to add the NCCER Mobile Crane Operator Certification program to our list of courses. This comprehensive program is excellent for crane operators across the nation to get certified and work smarter. One way NCCER makes that possible is through its online verification and registry system.”


“Our partnership with New England Crane School and Cranes101 expands the availability of additional accredited crane operator certification options to employers in the region,” said Debbie Dickinson, CEO of CIS. “In addition to our corporate and government customers, our team is strong on workforce development initiatives to recruit and provide opportunity to people interested in learning more about the industry.”


“Another thing I am personally very excited about is the partnership of three women—in an industry in which women executives/business owners are rare,” said Debattiste. “We work together on serving customers, marketing and brand awareness initiatives. Only two of our collective team of instructors is female, but we hope to see those numbers increase over time. The majority of our instructors and examiners are men who are respected as experienced operators, riggers and managers from the industry.”

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  New England Crane School Public Class Schedule

September 12, 2017

Signal/rigging class, Burlington, VT.

Promo code for AGCVT members and Woods CRW customers


September 13 - 16, 2017

NCCER operator certification class, Burlington, VT.

Promo code for AGCVT members and Woods CRW customers.


September 20 – 23, 2017

NCCCO operator certification class, Portland, ME


October 3, 2017

Signal/rigging class, Portland, ME.

Promo code for ABC Maine members.


October 4 – 7, 2017

NCCER operator certification class, Portland, ME.

Promo code for ABC Maine members.


January 22, 2018

Signal/rigging class, sponsored by AGCVT, Montpelier, VT


January 23, 2018

NCCER operator certification class, sponsored by AGCVT, Montpelier, VT


February 16, 2018

Signal/rigging class, Dover/Portsmouth


February 26 – March 1, 2018

NCCER operator certification class, sponsored by ABC NH-VT, Concord, NH



Are you a member of the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NLRA)? Ask about our promo code for a discounted member rate.


For more information or to register, call Anna at 303-817-5663 or visit www.newenglandcraneschool.com

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