November 2006 - Crane operator skills were much in evidence recently at Washington States 55th Annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference. This year’s event, held September 27-28 in Spokane’s newly completed Convention Center, was attended by thousands of safety and health professionals from across the Pacific Northwest.
Among the 70 or so exhibits were two provided by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), including arguably the most dramatic, a full scale test site layout of the CCO practical exam. Hite Crane and Rigging of Spokane, WA provided a Grove TM 650 hydraulic mobile crane. The crane was set up both days of the conference to demonstrate the CCO practical examination for large hydraulic telescopic mobile cranes.
Western States Engineers Training Institute provided official CCO testing equipment, as well as an accredited practical examiner and proctor for both days of the outdoor demonstrations. John Sandberg, crane operator for Hite Crane and Rigging, had observers transfixed as he used his skills to negotiate the tasks of the CCO practical examination. Mark Wagar and Jim Arnett, representing Operating Engineers Local 370, conducted the examination, as NCCCO’s Danny Thiemens narrated the event to dozens of observers, among them, representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
“We felt it was critically important that safety and health professionals witnessed this demonstration,” said Gary Hite, owner of Hite Crane and Rigging. “The examination simulates the actual skills a crane operator must use every day on an actual job site. The CCO certification process helps employers identify safe and qualified personnel to operate our cranes critical to our company’s operations.”
Next year’s Washington State’s Safety and Health Conference is scheduled for September in Tacoma, Washington.