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

OSHA Intends to Delay Crane Operator Certification Again

In May, OSHA announced its intention to extend the November 10, 2017 compliance date for crane operator certification. The proposal was presented on June 20 to the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health. Although nothing official has been issued, OSHA is expected to issue a formal extension of the enforcement date by one year to November 2018.

The latest proposed delay comes more than six years after the crane rule was issued in 2010. Among the issues which need to be resolved are whether testing operators should be done by type of crane as well as by capacity. Many in the industry think testing by capacity is onerous. The other issue is whether certification is equivalent to qualification. Many employers argue that certification is a baseline and that other factors must be evaluated to determine if an operator is qualified for a specific lifting scenario.

According to Bloomberg BNA, “The 12-month delay would give the agency time to complete work on an updated rule (RIN:1218-AC96) and determine how the rulemaking would fit into the Trump administration mandate limiting new regulations.”

Many in the industry speculate that existing language will be substantially changed to remove the requirement for certification by crane capacity and to better define the role of certification in determining whether or not an operator meets OSHA’s definition of qualified.

“CIS supports national crane operator certification regulations, but we are hopeful that OSHA will modify current language. Certification should be required but acknowledged as a learner’s permit. Meanwhile, qualification should be documented by employers demonstrating an operator’s skill by type of crane, not by make and model of crane. Finally, qualification of operators should be re-evaluated and documented annually,” said Debbie Dickinson, CEO of Crane Industry Services, LLC.

Despite the likely one-year delay, Lexology.com reports, “Employers remain responsible for ensuring that these operators are properly trained on the equipment assigned to them. We suggest that companies do internal compliance or policy reviews periodically to ensure that their policies comply with the latest, changing standards.

Resources

ACCSH FAQ for the May 20 meeting regarding the compliance date extension.

Federal Register Notice June 6, 2017 of the ACCSH June 20 meeting.

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.

Is Your Company Ready for the Next Rosie the Riveter?

The construction industry faces a big problem when it comes to filling qualified labor shortages, but many simple solutions can add up to significant return. After participating in last month’s Power Up event, promoting construction careers to young women, Debbie Dickinson, CEO offers these ideas for employers seeking to attract a new generation of workers—whether male or female.

“We heard great insights from speakers Kayleen McCabe of DIY Network’s Rescue Renovations and a vivacious senior woman, who was a real-life Rosie the Riveter during World War II,” said Dickinson. In addition, Dickinson joined a panel discussion with Fulton County College and Career Director, Lorissa Edwards, and student panelist, Breionna Glover.

In a recent article, The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion, author Brent Darnell says: If all industry organizations and companies would commit to some very simple initiatives, we could improve diversity and inclusion dramatically in a relatively short time.” He claims that evidence suggests the industry does not value diversity, which creates barriers for wooing outsiders to join the construction workforce.

Get involved in local workforce development groups. State and local groups can help connect employers to re-entry citizens, transitioning veterans, graduating high school students, and others looking for a new career opportunity. Often funding is available to offset costs of training programs for these individuals. Find a workforce development boards in your area at CareerOneStop, a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Be an industry partner with career and technical educators. More and more school districts are getting on board with providing students with an education that makes them career ready. But that takes a commitment from business and industry to supply field trips, internships, subject matter experts, and more. Check out Construction Career Pathways Conference, Dec. 6, 2017, Nashville, Tenn.

Agree to mentor someone. Provide role models. As Brent Darnell says, this means “providing meaningful training for the white guys.” An article published by Chief Learning Officer provides suggestions for how male mentors can develop women at work. The principles apply to reaching minorities or other under-represented demographics in the workforce.

Create training opportunities or make training accessible. This might be as simple as funding transportation for students from school to your business or job site for hands-on instruction. Or lobby your state to recognize October as Careers in Construction month, then host an open house. NCCER can provide free sample text for writing a proclamation.

If you are genuinely interested in hearing from young people or minorities, then roll up your sleeves like Rosie and get to work making it happen in a meaningful way for your company.