The CCO program reached an important milestone in mid–year when the 40,000th candidate registered for a CCO written exam since the program began in 1996. More than half this number have also taken the practical examination as part of the process to meet the requirements for full certification.
This year has witnessed notable growth in the program, with California joining
West Virginia, Hawaii and New Jersey in requiring nationally accredited crane operator certification. Similar recognition for the CCO program also came recently from Minnesota, Montana, and Nevada, and is in process in New Mexico and Pennsylvania.
Both CCO's new operator certification programs–tower cranes and overhead (bridge and gantry) cranes–also came fully on stream in 2005; by July 1, more than 600 candidates had taken the tower crane written exam, with almost half of these having completed the practical exam introduced in February.
Contractors, unions, rental firms, insurance companies and crane owners continue to be enthusiastic about the CCO program and its potential for improving crane safety. As the population of CCO certified operators increases, owners are increasingly preferring, and requiring, CCO certification of their operators as well as those of their subcontractors.
NCCCO President, John M. Kennedy, Manitowoc Crane Group, said the success of the program vindicated the efforts of the many individuals and organizations that had supported the initiative since its inception a decade ago. “Ten years on, and countless thousands of hours of volunteer time and labor later, it's appropriate to reflect that CCO got its start from the vision and determination of a group of concerned individuals who came together with the sole intention of improving worksite safety by raising standards of crane operations,” he said.
Part of the program's success, Kennedy said, lay in the willingness of a wide cross–section of industry to pool its crane expertise with a view to establishing an accurate and credible measurement of an operator's proficiency. From the outset, both labor and management cooperated in this joint effort, he said.