LJ Crane & Rigging Hosts Safety Seminar

LJ Crane & Rigging, Warwick, R.I., in cooperation with the safety committee of the Rhode Island General Contractors Association, recently held a day-long seminar aimed at promoting best practices and preventing mistakes that too often lead to tragic results. Attended by well over 100 professionals, it was the second-annual all-day crane safety seminar the company has sponsored and hosted.

After introductory remarks by Patrick Griffin, OSHA’s Providence area director, Darious Wenger, crane technical training instructor for Manitowoc/Grove, Manitowoc, Wis., addressed mobile and crawler crane safety, illustrating the uses and misuses of different types. He discussed operator responsibilities and crane setup with properly extended outriggers and enough tightly stacked cribbing to support the load as well as the need to consider weather and jobsite conditions, such as possible underground culverts, utilities or sink holes. Additional topics included a crane’s limitations, load charts, industrial safety standards, electrical safety, personnel handling and crane maintenance.

Joel Oliva, program manager of regulatory affairs for the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), Fairfax, Va., explained the operator certification process, which—unlike licenses—includes a practical exam in its rigorous testing program as well as 40 hours of classroom study. With many contractors requesting operators with NCCCO certification, industrial safety experts such as Bob Renzi, director of safety and training for the LJ Companies, foresee certification becoming a mandate within five to 10 years. He said 80 percent of the operators at LJ Crane already have NCCCO-certification in addition to their licenses.

Jim Harkin, product safety specialist in the Stoughton, Mass., branch of I&I Sling Co., Aston, Pa., discussed rigging safety. Ed Shapiro, principal owner and operator of Heavy Equipment Service Co. (HESCO), East Lyme, Conn., spoke about the complexities of crane inspection, and the benefits of having owners use experienced inspectors.

Other presentations included a delivery safety discussion by Robert Kunz, corporate safety director for Dimeo Construction Co., Providence, R.I. James Holliday, Providence area OSHA compliance officer, outlined his inspection procedures and showed photos of flawed crane set-ups and conditions, and Rick Bockman, senior New England regional safety manager for Gilbane, Providence, R.I., and Renzi discussed safe lift planning.

The seminar ended with raffle drawings for personal protective equipment and other items donated by New England Highway Technologies, Cranston, R.I., Shawmut Equipment, Manchester, Conn., and the LJ Companies. USI Insurance Services donated the grand prize: Box seat tickets to a New England Patriots-Jets game.