Commissioner Spotlight: Chuck Wigger
November 2018—NCCCO Alternate Commissioner Chuck Wigger has years of experience in the crane industry under his belt, most of them accumulated at non-traditional job sites. As safety director at Lamar Advertising Co., Wigger supervises billboard and sign lifting operations on the side of highways and other spaces where the general public are often close by. The risk of an accident is high, and so is the corresponding level of precaution taken by Wigger and his team.
He brings this knowledge on how to deal with such sites to NCCCO’s Written Exam Management Committee, where he helps to develop certification exams.
“Crane operators in the advertising industry face different issues than traditional workers on construction sites. Besides having people walking through all the time while we have a crane in the air, most of our people don’t just operate cranes—they may also do some welding work, or help change advertisements suspended above the ground,” Wigger said. “I bring to NCCCO our experience in successfully providing a safe environment to operators and other workers under these conditions.”
His responsibilities at Lamar include overseeing the safety of over 3,000 employees at the company’s locations in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, including roughly 300 certified crane operators. He supervises crane and rigging operations, activities in the electrical division, worker’s compensation, and risk management. Wigger also travels to many of Lamar’s more than 150 locations to conduct training and auditing, as well as to ensure compliance with established best practices and governmental regulations.
Wigger has been working at Lamar since 2000, when he left his accounting job to join the advertising company as an operations manager. He started off as an electrician before switching to crane operations—which he did on and off for about six years—finally moving into the safety department. Wigger still operates cranes whenever he donates his time supporting non-profits.
He believes NCCCO plays a crucial role preparing and certifying crane operators from various industries, and also in clarifying their core competencies, making sure that they meet high standards. According to him, the organization also helped to take Lamar’s crane safety guidelines to a much higher level.
“We are an advertising company that operates cranes, but this is not truly our principal job. Our employees learned a lot about safety measures since we started working together with NCCCO. In the past, we were not teaching all of those things in our in-house programs,” Wigger said. “After the first group of candidates became certified, we all realized how important that was. NCCCO programs definitely raised the level of competency and awareness of our folks over the past 10 years.”
When not traveling for work, Wigger likes to spend as much time as he can with his wife and five children who are heavily involved with sports, dance, and plays. And, of course, there’s always the task of completing jobs around the house that don’t involve operating cranes.