June 2012 - CCO certification is the referenced credential for crane operators in New York City following an announcement by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in April of strict new licensing and testing requirements for all crane operators that took effect May 26.
The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) already provides certification for the city’s Class C license. The new rules expand the requirement to cover the larger cranes covered by the Class A and Class B licenses that used to be handled by the city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). ”We’re implementing stringent licensing requirements for crane operators including tougher, modernized national exams, new training courses and mandated retesting,” said Bloomberg. The new rule puts the city in line to comply with federal requirements for crane operators to be certified by 2014.
According to the City, new applicants for the city’s crane licenses “must obtain certification from either NCCCO, an accredited non-profit organization that develops performance assessments for safe crane operations nationwide, or an organization accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or the American National Standards Institute.” Operators who already hold active Class A and B licenses must meet the new requirements by July 1, 2013.
"As construction methods continue to evolve, our testing methods must evolve with them to ensure that crane operators have the expertise necessary to safely operate increasingly specialized equipment," Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway stated.
“Since 2008, we have adopted more than 25 new construction safety laws, increased inspector training, and created new specialized units to ensure construction is safer today than at any other time in our history,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Together with the experience requirements we are creating to ensure New York’s unique work environment is taken into account, these initiatives will make construction sites across our city even safer.”
In addition to the test, the rules will require crane operators to meet city-specific requirements, including a 40-hour training course and a year's experience working in the city or, in the case of Class C and A licenses, in a city of “comparable urban density.”
The city began tightening licensing rules in 2008, after a pair of crane collapses left nine people dead. On April 3 this year, the boom of a crane working on the extension of the No. 7 subway line collapsed, killing a worker.
"Crane accidents in New York and other cities in recent years have showed us all that more oversight is needed over this industry, not less," said Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, whose agency issues licenses and conducts crane inspections. City officials, however, stressed that the Department of Buildings was not relinquishing control of licensing and would still issue licenses and set the requirements.