National Commission for the
Certification of Crane Operators
Committed to Quality, Integrity, and Fairness in Testing since 1995


Construction Research Group Calls for Certification of Operators, Riggers, Signalpersons

June 2008 - Crane operators, riggers, signalpersons, and inspectors should all be certified in an effort to prevent further crane-related accidents, according to a report released June 17, 2008 by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR).

The study, Crane-Related Deaths in Construction and Recommendations for Prevention, uses Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data to reveal that an average of 22 construction workers were killed in crane-related incidents annually from 1992 to 2006.

“Crane operators should be certified by a nationally accredited crane operator testing organization, such as the National Commission for the Certifications of Crane Operators (NCCCO),” the report states.

It emphasizes that certification organizations should be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in order to administer written and practical tests to determine the knowledge and skills of the applicant, and meet other standard accreditation criteria.

The report recommends that "states and cities should require certification by a national certification organization for reasons of standardization of qualifications and to promote the transfer of credentials between states."

Furthermore, the report recommends that “riggers who attach the load to the crane and signalpersons who visibly or audibly direct the crane operator on where to place the load should be certified.” The report also notes that “NCCCO will in the future offer certifications for these types of workers.”

Other recommendations are:

  • Certification of crane inspectors.
  • Thorough inspection of cranes by a certified crane inspector after being assembled or modified, such as the “jumping” of a tower crane.
  • Assembly, modification or disassembly of cranes should be conducted only by trained workers.
  • Passage of crane loads over street traffic should be prohibited.
  • Data should be more completely reported, particularly after a crane collapse.

The report, which also identifies the leading causes of death for crane operators and ground crew, calls for a speedy adoption of the C-DAC consensus standards once OSHA has published the proposed crane and derrick safety construction standard for public comment.

The report, authored by CPWR Director of Safety Research, Michael McCann, is available from


Center for Construction Research and Training Report

Center for Construction Research and Training Press Release

Center for Construction Research and Training Crane Related Deaths and Injuries in Construction (Power Point file)