Despite the downturn resulting from the coronavirus, the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators is open for business and continues scheduling exams, processing applications, and issuing certifications. Even in areas where restrictions are in place, NCCCO certificants are deemed essential critical infrastructure workers and certification is required by OSHA, the certification process continues.

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At all test sites – paper/pencil testing, computer-based testing and practical exams – candidate safety is of the utmost concern and social distancing measures have been put in place according to federal guidelines. Practical examiners and test site coordinators are informed of best practices to limit contact between candidates and testing personnel. Even though enhanced sanitation and disinfection procedures are in effect, face masks and gloves are permitted should candidates prefer to wear them.

NCCCO’s computer-based testing partner PSI continues to reopen more testing sites across the country. In places where PSI still has closures, candidates and certificants may have additional testing options, such as paper/pencil testing at employer locations or open test sites.

Testing deadlines for those seeking certification have been extended so that those who have started the process have more time to complete it. Additionally, certification and accreditation expiration dates have been extended so that those who need additional time to complete the recertification process may do so and still operate using their certification. Updated expiration dates are reflected in the Verify CCO Online system (verifycco.org). Practical Examiner accreditation expiration dates have also been extended to permit continued testing. After postponing most Practical Examiner Accreditation workshops in April and May, numerous PEAPs have been scheduled for June and July. Those examiners needing to attend a refresher workshop to renew their accreditations have also been given the opportunity to attend “virtual” refresher workshops using video conferencing. NCCCO will continue to monitor the situation and update its processes and procedures to ensure that everyone is prepared when work picks up again. For the latest updates – including current extensions and a list of open PSI test centers – visit NCCCO’s COVID-19 Response Center at nccco.org/covid-19.

Sicklesteel covers all crane personnel responsibilities on the jobsite

A lack of clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in crane operations has repeatedly led to accidents. NCCCO CEO Thom Sicklesteel addressed this at the CONEXPO education session “Responsibilities of Onsite Personnel for Cranes.” The presentation detailed the roles, responsibilities, training requirements, and documentation requirements of crane owners, crane users site supervisors, assembly/disassembly directors, lift directors, operators, riggers, and signalpersons.

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Using guidelines set at the local, state, and national levels as well as consensus industry standards, Thom explained what is required and how to determine if the designated people are truly qualified for the roles that they fill. He defined each role, breaking down the levels of qualification, and explored the applicable responsibilities necessary to make the work site a safer place. He also provided strategies – from training to certification to evaluation – to use to be certain that the people assigned to each role can perform their assigned responsibilities.

The seminar attendees appreciated the light that Sicklesteel was able to shed on the often-misunderstood roles and gave the presentation a 4.94 out of 5 rating, well above the average for all CONEXPO education sessions.