October 2011 - With a January 2012 deadline looming, Washington State crane certifiers who were grandfathered under the state’s initial ruling two years ago are taking steps to come into compliance.
Washington State’s rule requiring all mobile and tower cranes used in construction in the state be certified by a Washington State Accredited Crane Certifier came into effect in January 2010. According to the state’s Construction Crane Rule (WAC 296-155-531 through WAC 296-155-53112), all cranes used in construction must be inspected and load tested by a state licensed crane certifier annually, as well as after any significant modification or significant repair of structural parts. Further, tower cranes must be inspected by a licensed crane certifier both prior to assembly and following erection, and recertified after jumping.
Part of the rule allowed for a grandfather exception for existing state maritime crane inspectors, allowing them to perform inspections on construction cranes. This exception expires December 31. Grandfathered maritime inspectors who wish to continue to perform inspections on construction cranes must complete the requirements of the Washington State Accredited Crane Certifier Program. Approximately 60–80 maritime crane inspectors were grandfathered into the new construction crane certification program.
Maritime inspectors who wish only to conduct inspections of maritime cranes (cranes involved in ship building and longshoreman operations) may continue to do so under the accreditation they received through the Maritime Crane Program.
Washington’s Crane Certifier Program was developed by the National Commission for Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) under an agreement with the state’s Department of Labor and Industries. NCCCO also administers the state exams. NCCCO’s national crane inspector certification program, developed in conjunction with the Crane Certification Association of America (CCAA) is due for launch in November.
Details on the requirements to become a Washington State Accredited Crane Certifier for construction cranes are available on NCCCO’s Washington Central web page or on L&I’s website.