Trade News Release
Friday, March 19, 1999
Contact: Anthony Brown (202) 693-2020
OSHA AGREES WITH NATIONAL COMMISSION TO RECOGNIZE CRANE OPERATOR CERTIFICATION
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has agreed to officially recognize the national crane operator certification program of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) as meeting OSHA requirements for crane operator proficiency.
As a result, when OSHA compliance safety and health officers perform inspections or make accident investigations, they will recognize NCCCO certification as verification that the crane operators have met the training requirements of the OSHA standards. The requirement for NCCCO certified crane operators on a project will be an indication of the contractor's commitment to an effective safety and health program and contribute to the project's qualification for a "Focused Inspection" by OSHA. Such inspections are limited to checking the project for the leading causes of construction accidents.
The agreement between OSHA and the NCCCO marks the first time that OSHA has recognized certification by a private sector labor-management organization as meeting its requirements for crane operator training and it provides significant incentives for employers to have their operators qualified through the NCCCO program. There is currently no federal requirement for crane operators to be certified.
"The ability of crane operators to safely operate mobile cranes plays a major role in overall safety on most construction sites," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Charles N. Jeffress. "It is very important to make sure that the workers handling these cranes are well-trained. NCCCO certification will ensure that they are, and will help us reduce the number of crane accidents."
Russell Bruce Swanson, Director of OSHA's Directorate of Construction, noted that OSHA has a goal of reducing fatalities in the construction industry by 15 per cent by 2002. "The agreement on the crane operator certification program can play a important role in achieving that goal, " he said.
Swanson added that senior representatives from many sectors of the industry were on hand for a signing ceremony Feb. 26, 1998, at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. "It was an impressive show of support that included labor and management and other government agencies."
Among those on hand for the ceremony and voicing support were Davis J. Lauve, president of NCCCO and Nichols Construction Corp.; Frank Hanley, general president of the International Union of Operating Engineers; Carson Huneycutt, immediate past president of NCCCO and vice president of J.A. Jones Construction Co., and Graham Brent, executive director of NCCCO.
Swanson said a key factor in OSHA's decision to recognize the program is that it provides an objective and independent assessment of the skills and knowledge of crane operators.
The NCCCO was formed in January 1995 to develop effective performance standards for safe crane operation to assist all segments of general industry and construction. The program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the authority of certification standards. NCCA was established in 1977 to develop criteria and standards for certifying agencies.
Among NCCA's requirements for accreditation of the certifying organization are that it be independent of any training organization; be established and supported by industry; be a joint labor-management initiative and administer organization tests that are pyschometrically sound, validated through peer review, administered on a standardized basis, and maintained under strict security.
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