CCO's Signal Person Certification Available Next Week

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators will launch a certification program for signal persons Oct. 1, 2008. The written test consists of 60 questions designed to assess a candidate's knowledge of standard hand signals and voice signals. It is also designed to make sure a signal person has a basic understanding of crane operations and limitations, and applicable safety standards and regulations. It follows the intent of the 2007 version of B30.5 and OSHA's soon-to-be published cranes and derricks standard.

The practical exam uses a computer-based delivery system. Practical exam candidates will face a projection screen and view computer-generated animations of a crane demonstrating different operations. Some questions will require a candidate to give the appropriate hand or voice signal(s), while others will test a candidate on his or her understanding of a crane's response once a particular signal is given.

“The Signalperson Practical Exam is a fair and remarkably accurate way of testing candidates on their understanding of hand and voice signals, while not requiring the use of an actual crane,” said Kenny Shinn, Signalperson Task Force chairman.

Meanwhile, the organization is nearing completion of a certification program for riggers. According to Graham Brent, executive director, Level 1: Basic Rigger will be launched in the first quarter of 2009. “The complexity of this program has led our Task Force to focus on finishing this initial piece of the program,” said Don Jordan, Rigger Task Force chairman. Level 2-Intermediate, and Level 3-Advanced/Critical Lift are expected to be released by the end of 2009.

In other news, Brent recently reported on several ongoing projects.

  • The NCCCO is working with the Articulating Crane Council of North America, a product group of the National Truck Equipment Association, to develop a certification program for operators of knuckleboom cranes.
  • A state law passed in 2007 in Washington requiring cranes to be certified by an accredited crane inspector goes into effect Jan. 1, 2010. NCCCO is in talks with the state to develop a certification program for crane inspectors.
  • By the end of 2008 a pilot program for computer-based testing (CBT), initially implemented in California, will be made available nationwide. CBT is currently only available for mobile crane core and specialty exams but will be offered for other certifications as demand dictates.
  • In June, the Department of Energy formally recognized NCCCO certification by directly referencing the program in the latest edition of its Hoisting and Rigging Standard (formerly known as the Hoisting and Rigging Manual). DOE requires that only qualified personnel (or trainees under the direct supervision of qualified personnel) operate, inspect, rig, or perform maintenance on cranes, hoists or forklifts. The newly revised Standard, DOE-STD-1090-2007, states that crane operator certification by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) may be used to verify compliance with DOE's qualification requirements.