Commissioner Spotlight: Kenneth J. Shinn, Jr.
A fourth-generation crane operator, Kenneth J. Shinn, Jr. (“Kenny”) was born into the crane business and has spent the last 45 years in the industry full time. He started operating cranes in 1970 as a member of IUOE Local 825—and is still a dues-paying Gold Card member.
But his experience goes far beyond just being an operator; since 1980 he’s also been involved with crane and lift equipment rentals, sales, service, inspection, maintenance, training, certification, consulting, and just about anything else that can be done with cranes. He’s currently manager of ACIS-Cranex LLC, which provides crane operator training and testing, and president of K.J. Shinn Inc., which provides accident investigation and expert witness testimony. His son T.J. is continuing the family tradition by taking over daily crane operations and has his own company, Shinn Cranes LLC.
Now an NCCCO Commissioner, Kenny has been involved with NCCCO since its inception; he was a member of SC&RA’s task force that ultimately gave rise to CCO certification. And, as one of the first operators to become CCO-certified, and he still holds CCO Mobile Crane Operator, Tower Crane Operator, Articulating Crane Operator, Signalperson, Rigger, and Crane Inspector certifications as well as Practical Examiner accreditations. Kenny serves as Chair of NCCCO’s Practical Exam Management Committee and previously served as Chair of the Signalperson Management Committee. He’s also an NCCCO Auditor.
He participated in the task forces that developed the CCO Mobile Crane Operator, Articulated Crane Operator, Digger Derrick Operator, Signalperson, and Crane Inspector certifications, plus he’s currently on the Dedicated Pile Driver Operator task force. He’s also a member of the ASME B30 Main Committee (Alternate) and B30.29 Self-Erecting Tower Crane committees. Because he is on the Board of Directors of the Crane Certifiers Association of America (CCAA), Kenny was instrumental as a liaison between CCAA and NCCCO in the joint development of the CCO Crane Inspector certification program. All of this participation, commitment, leadership, and broad experience make Kenny a valuable asset to the Commission.
“To me, NCCCO is an organization comprising the best resources for developing, administering, and expanding its extensive range of personnel certification programs, such as the new certification being developed for Pile Driving Rig Operators,” says Kenny. “For years the industry struggled to police itself and create means of making the workplace safer. NCCCO has contributed greatly in establishing a trusted means of measuring competency at a level that can be implemented and duplicated with consistency.”
This has proven itself to be true based on statistics of reduced incidents and crane accidents do to operator error. He believes, “With the addition of the CCO Crane Inspector certification program we should also see a reduction of incidents and accidents do to mechanical/structural failures, as well.” He concludes by noting the value of the Verify CCO Online (VCO) system, stating “NCCCO has also made it much easier for contractors, crane owners, jobsite managers, and other employers to be able to easily access and verify real-time information about CCO certificants through the NCCCO website.”
Although he doesn’t see what he does as “work,” but rather “hobbies that provide income,” during his downtime he enjoys pro football immensely and likes to weld. “I consider metal fabricating to be therapeutic,” he says.