By Keith Adolph
If you’ve been in the crane industry for any period of time, then you’re likely familiar with the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), now known simply as CCO. Formed in January 1995, CCO is an organization with a mission to develop effective performance standards for safe load-handling equipment operation to assist all segments of general industry and construction. By providing thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills, CCO aims to enhance lifting equipment safety, reduce workplace risk, improve performance records, and give due recognition to the professionals who work in, with, and around load-handling equipment.
The early days of CCO
If you have never been to a CCO meeting, I would suggest attending one, because it’s one of the most rewarding ways to stay involved with all that’s going on in our industry. I remember being involved back in the early days of NCCCO, before acquiring my CCO Certifications. It was gratifying to watch CCO staff and International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) members develop the practical test with cones and caution tape, while also deciding on time limits for testing.
I acquired my CCO certifications in 1999 but was involved in meetings as a guest before I became an Examiner, PEMC/WEMC Member, Alternate Commissioner, and Auditor. One of the greatest achievements of my career was being asked to become an instructor at the IUOE’s state-of-the-art facility in Crosby, Texas, where all types of crane training takes place and CCO’s practical exams are administered. I was there as an instructor for the first three years of the facility’s operation and I’m still in touch with many of the good people I worked with.
A CCO education
In my role at NBIS, I often get to illustrate the value of CCO with accounts that may only have one or two cranes in their fleets, keeping them informed on all the changes that occur, so they can remain compliant.
One way to stay compliant is to know that training, and maintaining your credentials, are a cycle repeated every five years (known as recertifications). This can be even sooner for CCO certification holders. Practical testing for various certifications can happen quite often too. Keeping your crane operators up to speed on OSHA and ASME standard changes and CCO testing protocols is important. Your operators, trainers, and safety personnel must know that CCO is always evolving with the changing times, especially right now, as CCO begins phasing out paper/pencil testing and replacing it with more flexible online testing.
At the center of our Industry
At the heart of the lifting industry is the safety plan, which offers the risk-management guidance that keeps everyone safe on the jobsite while equipment is moving. Trust in that safety plan comes from the credibility the CCO certifications have within our industry, the regulatory leadership provided by the ASME B30.5 Standards Committee, and the investment company owners like yourselves make in your people. The crane, rigging, and heavy-equipment industry is constantly evolving, and it demands excellence from all involved.
I am proud to bring the passion I have for the industry to every customer we serve and apply my years of knowledge by providing risk management guidance to our insureds. Our team often repeats our company President, Bill Tepe, in saying, “It doesn’t matter who insures your operation—until it does.” The team at NBIS grew up in the crane, rigging, and heavy-equipment industry and works to guide all our insureds to best-in-class risk management guidance.