June 24, 2008 - In testimony placed today before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, NCCCO Executive Director, Graham Brent, emphasized the importance of ensuring that all personnel whose work brings them into contact with cranes be certified through an accredited certification program such as CCO.
Noting that cranes were, in and of themselves, not dangerous, but could certainly become so in the hands of unqualified operators, Brent recommended to the Committee that riggers, signalpersons, and inspectors should be certified, in addition to crane operators. “We believe that professionally developed and accredited certification is the employers’ and public’s best assurance that the required training has been given and, most importantly, that it has been effective -- that learning has, in fact, taken place.”
Brent also called for the publication of the long-awaited proposed OSHA rule based on the C-DAC report completed in 2004. “OSHA’s regulations that govern the use of cranes have gone largely unchanged since they were issued in the early 1970’s. They reference an American National Standard for cranes (ANSI B30.5) that was published in 1968 and has been out of print and unavailable for years. In the meantime, cranes have an undergone a technological evolution that has transformed them into versatile and sophisticated pieces of machinery, equipped in many cases with electronic control systems that would challenge the skills of a commercial airline pilot,” Brent added. “This rule needs to be published.”
Brent also addressed concerns about the varying standards of certification that may be available in the construction marketplace. “Fortunately,” he stated, “there is a simple way for those who have a stake in construction safety matters to ensure only professionally developed certification is specified -- and that is by ensuring that only certification bodies whose programs have been accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) are permitted to administer certification assessments. ANSI has developed a compliance program that meets the requirements of the ISO 17024 Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons and is the only accrediting body that requires onsite assessment of a certifying body as a condition of accreditation.”
For the complete text of Brent’s testimony to the House Education and Labor Committee, please click here.