OSHA Revokes Crane Institute Certification (CIC) Accreditation

OSHA Revokes CIC’s Accreditation

In a shocking announcement last month (November 2019), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revoked the accreditation of a previously nationally recognized crane training certification program. Crane Institute Certification (CIC) is no longer nationally accredited, meaning that the program cannot currently certify crane operators in the construction industry. Furthermore, certificates held by current crane operators were immediately invalidated by the move, leaving thousands of working operators without the necessary documentation they need to safely operate cranes and other machinery under OSHA regulations.

Is Accredited Certification Required?

OSHA regulations mandate that all crane operators engaged in construction activity (including the transport of certain building materials and construction-related equipment) be certified by a “nationally recognized and accredited” program. While there are some exceptions for mobile crane operators working in a temporary capacity on construction sites, the vast majority of crane operators (whether self-employed, employed by a contractor, or fulltime construction company employees) must have this certification in order to lawfully work.

If OSHA inspections find crane operators at worksites are not properly certified, the agency has the ability to issue stop work orders and citations that could result in steep fines.

What This Means for Your Crane Operators

Because the revocations of CIC accreditation was so sudden, OSHA has taken a lenient stance on enforcement. In a November 26th, 2019 press release OSHA stated that:

  • CIC-issued certifications are no longer compliant
  • OSHA “does not intend” to cite employers if their crane operators obtained CIC certification prior to December 2nd, 2019 “in good faith”
  • CIC certification will “temporarily” not be accepted by OSHA

Alternative OSHA-Approved Certification Programs

Nationwide Crane Training (NCT) currently offers a variety of OSHA-approved crane operator certification programs. These training programs result in operators earning certification accredited by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

Classes are available in:

  • Mobile Crane Operator
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • STC Certification

Enrollment for the next cycle of classes is currently underway at NCT facilities in California, Iowa, Alabama and North Carolina.

Additionally, NCT offers NCCCO accredited certification via private classes held at remote facilities across the country.

For more information about NCT, the nationally accredited crane operator certification programs they offer, or about scheduling a class near you, contact us online or call (877) 628-2726.

NCT Partners with STAHL to Provide STC Certification

In response to new OSHA regulations, Nationwide Crane Training (NCT), a leader in NCCCO crane certification training, has partnered with STAHL® to create a first of its kind class for Service Truck Crane (STC) operators. The five-day pilot program will be hosted by Total Truck & Trailer this February in Texas and serve as the model for future nationwide crane training classes in STC certification.

A Proactive Response to Changing Regulations

OSHA 1926 Subpart CC was signed into law in 2010 and significantly tightens restrictions placed on truck-mounted telescopic boom crane operators. Under these new regulations, any Service Truck Crane operator engaged in construction will have to be STC certified. This includes some delivery drivers and service individuals as well as construction company employees.

These new regulations apply to manufacturers of Service Truck Cranes as well as the operators. STAHL®, a leading manufacturer of service truck cranes and bodies, has always been at the forefront of the industry. They’ve taken a proactive approach to the changing requirements rather than waiting for the OSHA regulations to go into effect.

Anticipating the need for expert, reliable training on a nationwide platform, the forward-thinking teams at NCT and STAHL® partnered well in advance of the 2017 OSHA deadline in order to provide training to as many operators as possible. The class will cover materials that appear on the practical and written STC certification exams in order to prepare candidates for successful certification.

Held at Total Truck & Trailer’s newest location at 1410 College Ave, in Snyder, TX, the five-day course is scheduled for February 18 through the 22. Attendance is limited to the first twenty candidates to apply so reserve your seat today. Call 877-628-2726 for more information.

Crane Operators Nationwide React to New OSHA Regulations

Early this spring, new OSHA regulations went into effect which changed the certification process for certain types of crane operation across the board. While the regulations were inspired by the differences between crane types (mostly defined by capacity) industry insiders aren’t happy. The regulations require yet another level of testing but shift the focus from qualification of operators to simple certification—leaving many to ask: “what’s the point?”

In early April, industry experts were invited to air their concerns about these new OSHA regulations during a three-day series of public meetings at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC. The event yielded an impressive turnout and opened up the issue at the heart of the regulations: operators need to be qualified to handle these types of cranes and simply earning certification doesn’t demonstrate that.

“Tonnage doesn’t imply greater skill,” said Randy Stemp of Lampson International, “it’s the control system that determines skill.” Chip Pocock, representing the Associated General Contractors of America agreed: “We certainly can’t support capacity banding, nor the disenfranchisement of crane operators.”

Even the representatives from the C-DAC, which had initially asked OSHA to adjust certification and training requirements, say the organization may have gone too far. “If capacity is so important, how come the other three options OSHA has identified as meeting crane operator qualification requirements don’t mention it?” said Robert Weiss, C-DAC member and President of Cranes, Inc.

Nobody at these meetings disputed the value of certification but the multiple levels of testing now required by OSHA were deemed excessive. And the new OSHA regulations don’t seem to place enough emphasis on qualification. Indeed, industry experts worry that such ramrod certifications could lead to under qualified operators at the controls nationwide.

Already cranes contribute significantly to the danger at jobsite around the country. OSHA stats show that crane accidents kill an average of 50 workers each year and cause hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. These accidents are, for the most part, preventable with the majority being caused by improper rigging, improper site surveys, and failure to account for environmental hazards such as power lines. It’s clear that proper training and operator qualification is the way to go. However, OSHA’s new certifications requirements don’t seem to fit the industry as a whole. Yet until the regulations are revamped, the industry must abide by them.

Fortunately, Nationwide Crane Training continues to offer both qualification and OSHA approved NCCCO certification so attendees receive the best possible training. Their experienced instructors have decades’ worth of experience behind the controls of cranes of all sizes and provide real-world knowledge. In addition, NCT’s 3-day classes include practical, hands-on training that’s geared to get operators to a level of proficiency that meets or exceeds OSHA and NCCCO standards. Flexible private classes are available on-site and open-enrollment classes held regularly at central locations nationwide.

New Regulations for Service Truck Crane Operators

New NCCCO regulations went into effect this month (April 2013) that have wide reaching implications for crane operators everywhere. This new certification not only applies to service truck crane manufacturers but also to operators and the companies that own them as well.

These smaller cranes have been subject to OSHA 1926 Subpart CC since 2010—which requires operators to be certified if they are involved in the delivery or placement of goods and products at construction sites. However, this new wider-reaching NCCCO certification program was suggested just last year by the 17-member Service Truck Crane Operator Work Group.

“We recognize the unique characteristics of the service truck crane industry and we’re tailoring a program that meets the needs of the users in this niche market,” said Joel Oliva, NCCCO Program Manager, Test Development. “As a subset of NCCCO’s existing mobile crane operator certification, this won’t be an entirely new program, so it is being developed with the oversight of NCCCO’s mobile crane practical exam and written exam management committees.”

The new certification involves a single written exam in conjunction with a practical exam which are similar to current TSS testing but modified to accommodate for the smaller size of the boom. Operators must pass both portions of the testing in order to earn certification.

Certifications May Be a Response to Increasing OSHA Citations

The numbers of OSHA citations for service truck crane operation have been increasing since 2010 with the “heavy hitters” being:

  • Non-Certified/Qualified Signal Person – Not only must the signal person be qualified and certified to operate in such a capacity but the company’s documentation of the signal person’s training and certification must be readily available should OSHA wish to inspect it.
  • Non-Qualified Rigger – Only qualified riggers must be employed to secure loads. (Being hit by falling objects—often lifted by crane—is one of OSHA’s “Fatal Five” construction site accidents accounting for the vast majority of worksite injuries and deaths).
  • Improper Ground Conditions – The area around the jobsite must be inspected to ensure the crane is safely positioned in regards to soil firmness, location of power lines, and other potential hazards. In addition, proper warning signage must be in place to notify individuals in the area (including, in some cases, the passing public) that a crane is in operation.
  • Failed/Incomplete/Absent Inspections — Equipment must be inspected yearly by a qualified individual. Companies can face massive citations if their equipment hasn’t been inspected or if the documentation of that inspection is lacking. Also, citations for improperly repairing deficiencies noted during inspections are on the rise.

NCCCO Regulations Bring New Restrictions

In addition to the changes made for the service truck crane operation certification process, these new regulations restrict just what certified operators can do. The NCCCO Telescopic Boom-Fixed Cab certifications are now no longer reverse compatible. While individuals who currently have CCO-STC certification will still be able to operate these smaller cranes, those who earn their TSS-STC certification after April 2013 will be restricted to using just these types of service truck cranes until they pass further certification testing.

Nationwide Crane Training now offers Both CCO and TSS-STC classes nationwide in order to fulfill the need for training brought about by this new class of certification. NCT classes are flexible (both in scheduling and location) in order to make training your operators as easy for you as possible. In addition, instructors are real-world experts with years of experience. NCT also guarantees that your operators will pass the written portion of their NCCCO testing.

Find out how crane operators responded to this news here>>

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  • Anyone interested in becoming a Certified Crane Operator

Contact us using the form below to enroll in our Crane Training Boot Camp, located in Bakersfield, California.

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    2012 Top Crane Trainer Awards Nomination

    Crane & Rigging Hot Line’s Annual Training Excellence Awards

    Crane & Rigging Hot Line will recognize the industry’s top trainers in an awards program to be featured in the November 2012 issue. Trainers will be recognized for having a positive impact on students, the work environment or the industry through the use of innovative training techniques or hands-on instruction, by encouraging peer or corporate accountability, and/or through quantitative or anecdotal evidence that the training was successful. The Crane & Rigging Hot Line Top Trainer program is endorsed by the Association of Crane and Rigging Professionals (ACRP).

    Rules and Submission

    • Individuals being nominated must have been actively engaged in training between August 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012.
    • Trainer must be involved with crane, rigging, lifting, or construction safety training.
    • Individuals may nominate themselves or they may be nominated by customers, former students, colleagues, employers.
    • Previous Top Trainer winners are ineligible for five years after being recognized.
    • Previous Honorable Mention winners are eligible.
    • There is no fee associated with making a nomination.
    • Nominations must be received by August 31, 2012.
    ** The first 30 people making nominations will be sent a 2012 Hot Line Crane Guide, which features data on crane models from more than 100 manufacturers. A great historical reference, information dates back to models from the 1950s. The Guide has a $30 retail value. **


    • One Corporate and one Professional winner will each receive complimentary registration to the 2013 ACRP General Assembly and Workshop, during which they will be presented with a trophy during an awards ceremony.
    • One Corporate and one Professional winner will be granted scholarships to be used for educational purposes. Scholarships may be used by the recipient for train-the-trainer courses, to earn a certification, or to attend an industry conference. Or the winners may donate their scholarship to a student of their choice for similar training or educational purposes.
    • Winners and Honorable Mention nominees will be featured in an article in Crane & Rigging Hot Line in November 2012.
    Questions? Contact: Tracy Bennett, tbennett@maxcapmedia.com, 816-536-7903

    Economic Downturn Produces Increase in CCO Re-certifications

    Some would think that a difficult economy would cause a decrease in the number of crane operators who pay to keep their certifications current – especially among those crane operators who are not working at the moment. Instead, the opposite is proving true.

    Crane Operators understand that it costs less to re-certify than it does to lose their certification and then have to start the process all over again down the road.

    That is why even out-of-work men and women are choosing to take advantage of how easy it is to re-certify. Instead of having to travel extensively to take a written test and then wait weeks for results, computer based testing (CBT) has greatly simplified the process. Operators can take a CBT re-certification test at one of more 260 centers. These testing centers are located all over the country, so most operators will only have, at most, a two hour drive to reach one.

    And no more long wait for results. With CBT, the results are instant. The operator will know right away whether or not he or she passed. While it doesn’t seem that operators need an additional incentive to keep their certification current, the NCCCO offers one anyway.

    Crane Operators who maintain certifications for minimum periods of time will be classified as two-star, three-star operators based on how long they have maintained their certifications.

    An influx of new certification requests will likely be the result of a new decision by the UA. The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA), made the decision recently to require the NCCCO Signalperson certification for members who would deal with cranes or any type of lifting. This decision was made to enhance the safety of the workplaces.

    Keeping crane operator certifications current during a down economy is, in some ways, more important than at any other time. Why spend the extra money to start all over in the future? More importantly, why lose a potential employment opportunity because you allowed the certification to lapse?

    Take advantage of CBT re-certification and give yourself every opportunity to shine in the eyes of current or potential employers.

    Crane Training Testimonial

    At Nationwide Crane Training, we are like one big family!  We all celebrate when a thank you letter or testimonial that comes through praising a job well-done.  In the testimonial below Mr. Sandquist recommends our Don Childers for the Annual Crane Trainer of 2011 award.  This isn’t his first nomination and we hope it won’t be his last. 🙂

    To Whom It May Concern:
    My name is David Sandquist, Vice President and Safety Officer for United Contractors, Inc. a bridge construction company located in Johnston, Iowa. I am proud to recommend Mr. Don Childers for Annual Crane Trainer of the Year for 2011.
    I had the opportunity to meet Don when he was in Iowa training for another company. I spent time researching companies that do the Crane Operator Certification training and it seemed to me that Don and Nationwide Crane Training, Inc. was the best in the industry.
    In February 2011 Don was the instructor for our week long NCCCO certification class for 13 of our Supervisors and Crane Operators, of which I was one of the students. Don is a highly dedicated professional who motivates everyone in his class to strive for excellence. Don is the type of person that loves what he does and it shows when he works with the students.
    During our training Don also taught crane signals and rigging. He is very knowledgeable and proficient in what he teaches. Most of the students in our class have not been in a school setting for many years. I specifically appreciated Don working one-on-one with each person to ensure they understood the information that they would later be tested on.
    Our company stresses the importance of safety when working with and around cranes. Don reiterated in his training several points that are part of our safety training. Not only is Don programmed to teach his students what they need to know for the testing, he also wants them to be a valuable asset to their company.
    We had 100% success rate on the exams.
    David M. Sandquist

    We’d like to thank Mr. Sandquist for taking the time to write this letter. It doesn’t just motivate us to keep up the hard work, but certainly helps convince prospective clients that we are the right Crane Training company for the job…

    Crane Related Accidents – Preventable!

    There are some jobs in which you must be on the top of your game at all times, and operating a crane is one of them. Operating a crane can be a dangerous job, and there are hundreds of crane accidents each year. Many of these accidents prove fatal, while most of them were totally preventable.

    Common Crane Accidents

    TIPPING – While there are accidents involving all types of cranes; accidents with mobile cranes account for three quarters of all crane accidents. The most common type of mobile crane accident is tipping over. This is, obviously, a danger not only to the person operating the crane but to anyone who happens to be nearby at the time that the crane tips over.

    FALLS – When you count all types of cranes, there are two types of accidents that are the most common: falls and electrocutions. Believe it or not, there are some operators who fail to wear a safety harness. This simple piece of equipment could have saved the lives of some who were involved in this type of crane accident had the operator not gotten lax with their safety procedures.

    ELECTROCUTION – Electrocution, like tipping over, is a danger to people around the crane as well as in it. Failing to be aware of the surroundings, i.e. nearby power lines, has proved fatal to many crane operators.
    While there are fewer accidents now than there used to be in this industry, recent accidents show that crane safety is as important as ever.

    Recent Crane Accidents

    • This accident that happened in Texas is a good example of how it is not only the crane operator that is placed in danger. A crane knocked over a power line which proceeded to fall onto a fast food restaurant. Luckily, there were no injuries. Click to Read the Full Story
    • A crane operator in Toronto was not so lucky. When his boom grazed some power lines he ended up in the intensive care unit. Click to Read the Full Story
    • Another example of a dropped load occurred in California. The crane was moving a newly restored 1957 fighter jet. While there were no injuries, the plane restoration project had to start back at square one.  Click to Read the Full Story
    • An Arizona crane accident had a tragic ending when a 28-year-old was killed when the rough terrain crane that he was operating flipped over. Click to Read the Full Story

    The common thread in all of the above accidents is that proper crane safety procedures very likely could have prevented them.

    Crane Training Prevents Accidents

    Nationwide Crane Training is dedicated to making sure that everyone who goes through our crane safety training has the knowledge that they need to operate the machines safely. We offer a variety of classes and certifications such as Crane Safety 101 and Overhead Crane Safety. There are classes to suit all types of cranes and we can even customize classes to meet your specific needs.

    Crane training prevents accidents by making sure that operators are up-to-date on their knowledge of crane safety and that safety is at the forefront of their minds.
    While all crane accidents cannot be prevented, most can. Crane training is a very important step in preventing crane-related injuries and death.


    New OSHA ruling requires that all crane operators be certified through an accredited organization. Nationwide Crane Training meets the required standards.

    July 28,2010 – Extensive new requirements for the qualifications of crane operators and signalpersons were published today by Federal OSHA in the most wide-ranging revision of the rules governing the use of cranes in a generation.

    Under the new rule, crane operators must be either certified by an accredited crane operator testing organization, such as the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), or qualified by an audited employer program. State programs that meet federal requirements, and programs run by the U.S. military, are also recognized in the new standard which retains most of the language contained in the Proposed Rule issued in 2008.

    The widely-anticipated regulation, often referred to by the name of the negotiated rulemaking committee that developed it—C-DAC—but officially known as 29 CFR 1926 Subpart CC, was developed over a 12-month period and submitted to OSHA in 2004. The passage of the document has taken numerous twists and turns as it made its way through federal government oversight in the six years since then.

    Signalpersons must be qualified either by a third-party qualified evaluator, such as NCCCO, or an employer’s qualified evaluator.

    The new rule, including the requirements for signalperson qualifications, takes effect on November 8, 2010. Employers are given an additional four years to comply with the crane operator certification provisions.

    OSHA estimates that approximately 267,000 construction, crane rental and crane certification establishments employing about 4.8 million workers will be affected by the rule.

    “The significant number of fatalities associated with the use of cranes in construction led the Labor Department to undertake this rulemaking,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “After years of extensive research, consultation and negotiation with industry experts, this long overdue rule will address the leading causes of fatalities related to cranes and derricks, including electrocution, boom collapse and overturning.”

    The previous rule, which dated back to 1971, was based on 40-year-old standards. Stakeholders from the construction industry recognized the need to update the safety requirements, methods and practices for cranes and derricks, and to incorporate technological advances in order to provide improved protection for those who work on and around cranes and derricks.

    “The rule addresses critically important provisions for crane operator certification, and crane inspection, set-up and disassembly,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “Compliance with the rule will prevent needless worker injuries and death, and provide protection for the public and property owners.”

    The new rule is designed to prevent the leading causes of fatalities, including electrocution, crushed-by/struck-by hazards during assembly/disassembly, collapse and overturn. It also sets requirements for ground conditions and crane operator assessment. In addition, the rule addresses tower crane hazards, addresses the use of synthetic slings for assembly/disassembly work, and clarifies the scope of the regulation by providing both a functional description and a list of examples for the equipment that is covered.

    In 2003, the secretary of labor appointed 23 experienced Cranes and Derricks Advisory Committee members representing manufacturers and trade associations, who met 11 times until a consensus on the regulatory text was reached in July 2004. The proposed rule was published Oct. 9, 2008, and the public was invited to submit comments until Jan. 22, 2009. Public hearings were held in March 2009, and the public comment period on those proceedings closed in June 2009. OSHA staff incorporated input from the public comments and testimony to develop the final regulatory text.

    The published rule is available here. You can also find an OSHA Fact Sheet, the OSHA PowerPoint presentation providing an overview of Subpart CC,and the Final Rule on the OSHA website.