Crane Industry Services company news

Crane Industry Services Announces Simple Crane Operator Documentation Process for Employers

Example of a Skills Evaluation report produced for the QCOE. Exercises, written tests and practical exams are used to evaluate the qualification of a crane operator. CIS tracks the individuals and maintains records with recommendations for the organizations to improve ability and safety.

While employers have until November 2018 to make sure crane operators are certified, they currently have a duty to ensure crane operators are competent. (See current language presented in the OSHA Regulation update.)

To assist employers in evaluating and documenting crane operator competency, Crane Industry Services, LLC introduces a new and efficient process called Qualified Crane Operator Evaluations™ (QCOE). The process gives employers valuable insights not available in certification testing by identifying specific operator strengths and skills that need to be improved.

Competency is defined as one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them. When it comes to crane operation that may entail familiarity with the type and configuration of the crane, hand signals, rigging, and ground conditions, among other factors.

The QCOE process graphs areas where knowledge and skill are strongest and where the operator and supervisors would benefit from more training or experience that the employer can provide or can be obtained through a reliable source. Employers receive recommendations for improved performance and documentation for current compliance requirements. The process lowers costs and hassles associated with certification testing.

Crane Industry Services travels to the crane and operator’s location to conduct tests and documents each operator’s qualifications. “Excuses don’t work when an employer is behind on a job schedule or over budget due to skill levels that are lower than needed to complete timely, quality, safe work. QCOE also helps employers fulfill the ‘employer duty’ to provide documentation to OSHA regarding qualification of operators, but the main benefit is safer, higher quality work,” said Debbie Dickinson, CEO of CIS.

Sample results tracking an individual’s record from novice to qualified crane operator. CIS has developed more than 200 exercises, many of which can be performed on a simulator, for demonstrating skills related to crane and lifting equipment operation.

CIS is WBE certified and NCCER accredited to train and provide OSHA recognized, ANSI accredited crane operator certification testing.

Crane Industry Services company news

Crane and Rigging Inspector Training for Jobsite Supervisors – August 30 – AGC Training Center

This program is designed to help supervisors and crews working with cranes and rigging to better understand the function of machines, components and gear to keep jobs safe, prevent delays and be savvy about the lifts taking place under their watch. The course will cover:

  • Optimize productivity – Inspection Criteria, Schedule and Performance
  • Verify Capacity for the Lifts Planned
  • Indentify Gear or Components to Reject

Note:  This program does not qualify or certify participants to conduct Third Party, Annual or Post Assembly Inspections.

When: 

8/30/2017 8:00 AM – 8/30/2017 4:00 PM

Where:

AGC Georgia Training Center
1940 The Exchange
Atlanta, GA 30339 United States

To register: Email parham@agcga.org for more information or visit www.agcga.org

CIS Safety Icon

Crane Training, Inspections Take Advantage of Latest Tech Tools

Crane operation relies on constants—principles of gravity, force, and leverage have been the same since the beginning of time. But technology is reshaping crane training and offering new tools for crane operations. Drones, simulators and other tools are rapidly moving from military exercises to commercial construction applications.

If you doubt how quickly the landscape is changing, the 75,000 sq. ft. Tech Experience exhibit dedicated to new construction technologies at the 2017 ConExpo-Con/Agg show should be evidence enough. A year ago, Crane Industry Services embarked on a study with CM Labs Simulations Inc. and West Georgia Technical College to determine the value of simulators in crane training. More recently, they began assessing the use of drones for use in crane training, crane inspections, and lift planning.

Sim study update

“We are finding that 8 hours in a crane simulator is equivalent to 30-40 hours in the field. There is so much more that you can pack into a condensed training time when teaching crane operators new skills or lifting scenarios,” said Debbie Dickinson, CEO of Crane Industry Services. While the study is ongoing, the company recently launched a custom crane simulator training program for a utility company. The objectives were skill-based training, documentation of training, and measurements of skills achieved.  Simulators help to bridge the skills gap. “More seasoned employees are leaving the industry than new people are entering and we are losing a tremendous body of knowledge,” said Dickinson. “Simulators are being used by employers for strategic workforce development,” she said.

Shawn Galloway, CIS Instructor, worked with Dickinson and the utility to create a simulator training protocol, called CIS Skills Measurement Record TM.  Galloway has previous experience writing training protocols for unmanned aerial vehicle operations in the military, including drone tactical standards for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

Galloway is applying this experience to the development of the Skills Measurement Record for simulators in crane training. “First, we identify the most common skills needed, and the most critical skills. We build scenarios for the simulator based on that and write curriculum, evaluations, and metrics to measure performance specific to the utility company’s training needs,” he explained. While the protocol would be customized to each employer and the skill level of employees, it provides a foundation for establishing how much simulator training is needed to achieve a certain skill level.

Just as the aviation industry has standards for how much training (both simulated and real) is necessary for pilots to maintain proficiency, CIS’s long-term goal for its research with crane simulators is similar. “The industry uses simulators. CIS is working to provide valid research that is useful to employers, simulator developers, and possibly standards-writing bodies for setting guidelines,” said Dickinson.

Drones and cranes

CIS uses drone technology to literally capture the big picture. Notice the small orange cone in the lower right corner? From that point it is 20 feet to a power line. Enough said.

In congested areas were laying the boom down is impossible, the CIS inspector took a close look at the working boom.

Meanwhile, the crane training and inspection company is now exploring uses for drones as part of their services. In crane operator training, overhead video shows the boom’s route through a course. “For example, teaching an operator awareness of powerlines and how to maintain control of the boom and load while maintaining proper distances is difficult to judge at ground level. By using a drone to video the activity from above, it’s much easier to see how close the crane came to the required perimeter,” said Cliff Dickinson, President of CIS, who is a licensed pilot.

In work environments, drones can be used to assist with post-assembly crane inspections. “These typically take place in congested environments, where it’s not possible to lay a boom down,” said Cliff Dickinson. A drone helps an inspector see the condition of components, wire rope, or the reeving over the sheaves on the boom tip.

Drones may also be useful in lift planning to double check the crane configuration and expected load travel route. Conditions on a job site change frequently. While the lift may have been pre-planned and even simulated in software applications, a drone can be flown in the expected crane or load travel pattern to make sure there are not unanticipated obstacles. “It’s a real-time comparison with a lift plan to confirm access/egress,” said Debbie Dickinson.

CIS’s endeavors mirror the shift in construction education. A new course at Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Building Construction is teaching students how to apply a variety of technologies to construction tasks. In April 2017, Equipment World reported that the course, CONECTech, is teaching “how to integrate technology into the workflow and how to use it in a way that is functional on a jobsite.”

“When we teach students about technology, it changes so quickly we try not to focus on the gadgets so much, but on the application of the data that they extract,” said Javier Irizarry, director of CONECTech.

“It’s always important that the students understand the goals of the jobsite and its managers first and foremost.”

CIS is in talks with Georgia Tech to collaborate on developing simulator training protocols and drone applications for the crane and rigging industry. Both Irizarry and Debbie Dickinson serve on the AGC Georgia Safety Forum and plan to reach out to AGC Georgia members for participation in future research projects.

Crane Industry Services company news

CIS Expands NCCER Offerings in Northeast

Crane Industry Services LLC (CIS) announces successful completion of NCCER audits for two crane training companies in the northeast. New England Crane School in New Hampshire and Cranes101 in Massachusetts are now approved as NCCER Accredited Training and Assessment Centers (ATS/AAC), under the sponsorship and support of Crane Industry Services. CIS conducted initial instructor certification training and assessments, following the NCCER protocols and curriculum, and will provide annual audits and administrative services to meet NCCER requirements. CIS became an accredited NCCER training sponsor in 2015.

“Currently New England Crane School is offering crane operator certifications, qualified signal person, and basic rigging certifications to our customers, but we plan to eventually branch into other trade areas,” said Anna DeBattiste, President, NECS.  NCCER offers dozens of construction craft programs and credentials from boilermaking to welding. “We are pleased with NCCER’s customer service and the availability of a comprehensive curriculum beyond just crane operator certification,” said DeBattiste.

“Cranes101 is happy to add the NCCER Mobile Crane Operator Certification program to our list of courses. This comprehensive program is excellent for crane operators across the nation to get certified and work smarter. One way NCCER makes that possible is through its online verification and registry system,” said Jennifer Sturm, President of Cranes101.

“Our partnership with New England Crane School and Cranes101 expands the availability of additional accredited crane operator certification options to employers in the region. In addition to our corporate and government customers, our team is strong on workforce development initiatives to recruit and provide opportunity to people interested in learning more about the industry,” said Debbie Dickinson, CEO of CIS.

“Another thing I am personally very excited about is the partnership of three women—myself on behalf of NECS, Debbie Dickinson with CIS, and Jenn Sturm of CranesN101—in an industry in which women executives/business owners are rare. We work together on serving customers, marketing and brand awareness initiatives. Only two of our collective team of instructors is female. The majority of our instructors and examiners are men who are respected as experienced operators, riggers and managers from the industry. This is a great industry for both men and women,” said DeBattiste.

Crane Industry Services company news

CIS Expands Overhead Crane Safety and Inspection Services

Crane Industry Services, LLC, announces the addition of Shawn Galloway, an overhead crane inspector and technician with extensive experience in military and industrial applications. “Shawn will focus on safety evaluations of people and equipment in heavy industry, utility, and manufacturing environments,” said Debbie Dickinson, CEO.

Galloway spent nearly 16 years serving in the U.S. Army, and later working for the Department of Defense where he was responsible for developing safety, maintenance, and readiness programs. As general manager for JIT Chemical Corp., he developed and enforced safety procedures, and made sure all electric motors, controls, and mechanical pump equipment was maintained according to company procedures for operation in a highly corrosive environment. More recently, he worked as overhead and portal crane service technician and inspector for Konecranes.

“Among the most common equipment deficiencies found on overhead cranes and hoists are structural and wire rope problems, often caused by lack of preventative maintenance or improper operation due to lack of training,” said Galloway.

Enlightening Girls about Careers in Construction

Women remain under-represented in the construction industry, and yet there are many rewarding career opportunities for women. To educate middle school girls and their mothers about construction as a career path, Power Up: It’s a Mother Daughter Thing! will be held March 21, 2017 in Birmingham, Ala. Debbie Dickinson, CEO of CIS, is one of several speakers who will share her personal journey and discuss tips for success in construction.

The is a collaborative partnership of the Central Six Development Council, Alabama Workforce Council Region 4, Girls Inc. of Central Alabama, Robins & Morton, and AIDT/AWTC. More than 300 attendees, employer partners, and training providers attended the first event in 2016.

The one-day event includes information tables from area employers in construction who will provide education on careers related to the firm’s services. In addition, presentations by female professionals will who work as project managers, estimators, schedulers, quality control managers, engineers, and business developers.

Debbie Dickinson shared her experience. “When people ask what I do, eyes get big and the most common response is, ‘Really? How did you get into that line of work?’ There is little awareness, particularly among young women and their parents, about the great careers in our industry.  Knowing I have their attention, it is fun to talk about developing skills and adapting training to next generation learners, safety, and the long-term satisfaction related to being involved in the construction of buildings or infrastructure.”

The event will be held from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the AIDT/Alabama Workforce Training Center at 3500 6th Avenue South, Birmingham. Students who are interested in attending should contact their school guidance counselor or principal for more information.

“Applications are disseminated to career technical education directors, career coaches, guidance counselors, and principals in our region. Young women must have the application signed by a female legal guardian, who will attend the event with the student,” explained Edie Gibson, Industry Coordinator for Central Six Development Council.

Other Resources for parents and educators about women working in construction:

CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training

National Association of Women in Construction

OSHA Women in Construction

The Rise of Women in the Construction Industry, blog post by Construction Labor Contractors