Norther New England's premier source for crane-related training and certification programs

Winter 2015

New England Crane School’s 2015 Class Schedule

January 26 – 29, 2015 -- Full
Operator certification class, sponsored by AGCVT in Montpelier, VT

January 30, 2015
Signal/rigging, sponsored by AGCVT in Montpelier, VT

February 13, 2015
Signal/rigging class, Manchester, NH

February 20, 2015
Signal/rigging class, Bangor, ME

March 9 – 12, 2015
Operator certification class, Portland, ME. Promo code for ABC Maine members

March 13, 2015
Signal/rigging class, Portland, ME.  Promo code for ABC Maine members

March 23 – 26, 2015
Operator certification class, Burlington, VT.  Promo codes for AGCVT members and Woods CRW customers

March 27, 2015
Signal/rigging class, Burlington, VT.  Promo codes for AGCVT members and Woods CRW customers

April 17, 2015
Signal/rigging class, Portsmouth, NH

May 27, 2015
Signal/rigging class, sponsored by AGCVT in Montpelier, VT

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 603-614-4331 or visit www.newenglandcraneschool.com.

Frequently Asked Questions about OSHA’s Compliance Directive for the Cranes Standard

Customers have been calling us with questions about OSHA’s new compliance directive for the cranes and derricks in construction standard. Here are some of their most frequent questions, along with our answers.

Q: What are the most frequent crane-related violations so far?

A: Jim Maddux of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction listed the following portions of the rule back in 2012 (as reported by Crane & Rigging Hot Line magazine):

  • Failure to perform annual inspections
  • Signal person not qualified and failure to document signal person’s qualifications
  • Materials not rigged by a qualified rigger
  • Failure to determine the proper working distance from power lines
  • Missing operator manuals, load charts, and manufacturer-supplied labels

Richard Wobby, director of membership for Associated General Contractors of Vermont, recently analyzed OSHA’s database to determine which portions of the crane standard had been most frequently cited in recent years in the New England area and found that citations have been primarily inspection-related. Now that OSHA has a compliance directive, however, their focus in likely to expand. Wobby comments, “If we look at the history of OSHA’s inspection process when visiting crane construction sites, along with guidance from the directive, it’s clear that the first thing they will be looking for is operator qualification. If your operator is not certified yet, you need to make sure you have documentation of their qualification on the particular piece of equipment they are running. If your operator does have a third-party certification or documentation of employer qualification, then their emphasis will likely fall on crane inspection and maintenance records, personnel hoists, the rigging process, and signal person qualification.”

Q: What should I be doing to make sure I’m covered on operator qualification, now that the requirement for certification is delayed until 2017? 

A: OSHA says you need to assess your operators’ competence on the actual crane(s) they are assigned to run, and keep documentation of that assessment.  If your operator has a CIC certification and was tested on your crane, and he only runs that crane and no others, you are all set. Everyone else needs to get an assessment on file, even for certified operators (if they were tested on equipment other than your own).  That means you need to have a qualified person test your operator’s skill and knowledge and put documentation of this test on file. This requirement is likely to be ongoing even after 2017, so it’s best to invest the time in your process now. Contact us if you need help putting an assessment process together.

Q: I qualified all my people as signal persons and riggers a few years ago. Do I need to do anything about this ever again?

A: That depends. If they have qualified signal person and rigging cards from New England Crane School, your cards will not expire. However, if an OSHA compliance officer shows up on your job site, s/he will consider the card to be just one of many possible pieces of evidence to show qualification. It’s not a magic bullet. The compliance officer will also observe your employees on the job and possibly ask them questions to test their knowledge. If your employee has an older card and doesn’t remember how to properly signal a crane or rig a load, the compliance officer may cite you, not to mention the fact that you will also have an unsafe situation on your hands. That’s why we recommend that your site personnel regularly requalify your signal persons and riggers to assess how much they remember, and consider sending them back to class for a refresher every few years if needed.

Q: How can I assess the qualifications of my operator, signal person or rigger if no one in my company has any subject matter knowledge except the person we need to assess?

A: Contact us for help. We are happy to provide advice and test materials to our previous customers free of charge. We are also available on a consulting basis to help you create an in-house qualification process.

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©2015 New England Crane School