National Commission for the
Certification of Crane Operators
Committed to Quality, Integrity, and Fairness in Testing since 1995


Overhead Crane Operator

Written Exam - Exam Outline

The CCO Overhead Crane Operator written certification exam tests the following knowledge areas relating to the operation of overhead cranes:

Domain 1: Pre-Operation/Inspection Activities
(Approximately 30% of the test)

Domain 2: Work Requirements
(Approximately 30% of the test)

Domain 3: Load Handling
(Approximately 33% of the test)

Domain 4: Shutdown & Secure
(Approximately 7% of the test)


  1. Conduct emergency stop function when necessary
        1.1    Conditions that require emergency shutdown
        1.2    Location of emergency stop switch
  2. Perform emergency shutdown procedures
        2.1    Actions and sequence of shutdown procedures after an emergency stop
        2.2    ASME/OSHA standards and regulations for emergency stops
  3. Locate and verify access to main runway disconnect
        3.1    Location of main runway disconnect(s)
        3.2    Technical knowledge of ASME standards regarding disconnects
  4. Resolve lockout/tag-out conditions
        4.1    Lockout/tag-out requirements and condition resolutions
  5. Identify and inspect visual and audible warning systems
        5.1    Audible and visual warning systems that one may encounter
        5.2    Proper and appropriate functioning of warning systems (e.g., decibels of audible devices)
        5.3    Location of warning devices
  6. Verify proper control labeling and conditioning
        6.1    Technical knowledge of ASME control layout
        6.2    Technical knowledge of OSHA and ASME crane and attachment labeling requirements
  7. Ensure pendant control is adequately supported
       7.1    Pendant control strain relief requirements
       7.2    Risks of improper support
  8. Ensure warning and capacity labeling meet requirements
       8.1    Warning and capacity labeling requirements per ASME/OSHA/manufacturer
  9. Check for oil leaks
       9.1    Location of potential oil leaks, and procedures to rectify
       9.2    Crane manufacturer’s operating instructions
  10. Inspect wire rope or chain condition and spooling
       10.1    Removal criteria
       10.2    Minimum wraps required
  11. Ensure guards meet applicable requirements
       11.1    Required guard location
       11.2    Technical knowledge of ASME/OSHA guard requirements
  12. Ensure fire extinguishers meet applicable requirements
       12.1    Fire extinguisher classes
       12.2    Required locations for fire extinguishers
       12.3    Proper use of fire extinguishers
  13. Ensure bumpers/stops meet applicable requirements
       13.1    Bumper stop functionality
       13.2    Bumper stop locations
  14. Check all limit devices and control functions
       14.1    Types of limiting devices
       14.2    When/how to test limiting devices
       14.3    Various types of control functions
       14.4    Various types of control layouts
       14.5    Technical knowledge of ASME control layout standards
  15. Conduct brake test on bridge, trolley, and hoist
       15.1    Brake test setup requirements
       15.2    How the crane reacts with respect to drift
  16. Ensure load block, hook and latch meet requirements
       16.1    Technical knowledge of ASME/OSHA standards and regulations related to requirements
       16.2    Various load block, hook, and latch configurations and potential defects
  17. Verify communication devices (e.g., radios) are functioning correctly
       17.1    Appropriate communication devices
       17.2    Communication device usage requirements
       17.3    Identification of malfunctioning devices
       17.4    How to change communication methods, if needed


  1. Calculate the weight of the load
       1.1    How rigging effects load weight
       1.2    Basic math calculations, and volume calculations
  2. Demonstrate the proper use of below the hook lifting devices
       2.1    Types of below the hook lifting devices
       2.2    When to use various below the hook lifting devices
       2.3    Technical knowledge of ASME B30.20-Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices
  3. Select and apply rigging
       3.1    Various rigging materials
       3.2    Proper rigging attachment locations
       3.3    Conditions in which rigging selection is safe vs. unsafe and appropriate vs. inappropriate
       3.4    Technical knowledge of OSHA 1910.184-Slings
       3.5    Technical knowledge of ASME B30.30-Ropes
  4. Move the crane into correct lifting positions
       4.1    Importance of true vertical lift
       4.2    Identification of hazardous lifting setups
  5. Move the load using safe start, travel, and stop techniques
       5.1    Side pulling and load swinging avoidance
       5.2    Shock loading
       5.3    Proper controller movement techniques
       5.4    Mitigating hazardous load conditions during start, travel, and stop
  6. Utilize a signalperson
       6.1    Who may be a signalperson
       6.2    Where a signalperson may be located
       6.3    When a signalperson is required
  7. Interpret ASME B30.2 hand signals and other appropriate signaling methods
       7.1    Technical knowledge of ASME standard operating hand signals
       7.2    Appropriate use of alternate signals (e.g., radio) that may be used during operation
  8. Communicate lift activity to other workers
       8.1    Various proper communication methods
       8.2    Who should be in communication
       8.3    Circumstances in which communication is required


  1. Perform hoist brake check with load
       1.1    Hoist brake check requirements
       1.2    When a hoist brake check must be performed
       1.3    How to proceed with lifts based on hoist brake check results
  2. Navigate the load path safely
       2.1    Hazards that may be present (e.g., personnel, obstructions, loss of power)
       2.2    Operation scenarios that require emergency stops
       2.3    Safe load movement techniques
  3. Activate a warning alarm system
       3.1    Technical knowledge of ASME warning alarm activation requirements
       3.2    Various warning alarm system locations
       3.3    Warning alarm functionality
  4. Operate the hoist, bridge and trolley functions safely
       4.1    Hoist, bridge, and trolley control functions
       4.2    Safe control operation techniques
       4.3    Hazardous conditions that may present during operation and appropriate reactions
       4.4    Operator responsibilities with regard to operation safety
       4.5    Causes of shock loading, load swing, and load rotation
       4.6    Mitigating shock loading, load swing, and load rotation
  5. Land the load in a safe manner
       5.1    Ensure that the load is level/steady
       5.2    Factors that contribute to and mitigate shock loading
  6. Remove the rigging from the load and hook


  1. Shutdown and secure the crane at the end of the shift
       1.1    Requirements of locations for parking indoor and outdoor overhead cranes
       1.2    Technical knowledge of ASME/OSHA standards for securing overhead cranes
       1.3    Proper storage of the remote
       1.4    Safe vs. unsafe parking locations
       1.5    Proper place to leave crane components (hoist/hook/bridge/trolley/cab/platforms,etc.)
  2. Identify and report deficiencies observed during shift to appropriate personnel
       2.1    Deficiencies that might be observed
       2.2    Technical knowledge of ASME deficiency reporting requirements