I was recently contacted by a contractor from out west about a crane operator’s card they had received. The card looked a little strange to them and they wanted to verify the operator’s credentials. What raised the red-flag for them? Well, the card said “NCCCO Certification Equivalent Operator Qualification Card” and this didn’t sit right with them. I am glad that it didn’t.
The reason Crane Tech got the call? Our name was on the back of the card in very small fine print, under a statement that “all written and practical tests were developed by an accredited crane operator testing organization (Crane Tech, Tampa, FL)”
Why am I telling you about this?
To help educate those who sub-contract or hire crane operators what they need to look for when reviewing an operators qualifications.
First of all – there is no such thing as an NCCCO Certification Equivalent. An operator is either CCO “certified” or they are not. While there are other national certifications available to operators, the NCCCO is by far the most widely known and accepted credential.
In addition, Crane Tech provides certification-level testing according to the policies and procedures set forth by the NCCCO. If the testing for this student had been under the NCCCO, the certification designations noted on the back of the card would have been listed according to the NCCCO categories; not a list of 3 different crane sizes and models (which by the way, none of which Crane Tech owns).
The moral of the story is know who you are hiring, whether it be as a sub-contractor with their own crane, an employee to run your crane, or even when renting a crane. Make sure their credentials are real. In fact, if you are looking for a CCO-certified operator, the NCCCO has made it very easy to verify credentials through the Verify CCO Online (VCO) program www.verifycco.org . You will have to register the first time, but the system will allow you to check credentials any time day or night.
Another key thing is to understand what you are looking for as it relates to an operators certification card. The NCCCO developed a fact sheet for what their certification cards should look like. Review it, print it out and know what you are looking for. Check the card for irregularities and then use the VCO to instantly check the credentials of the card holder.
What happened with the call that I received?
I was able to look up the operator’s name in our Learning Management System and could verify that the operator attended a Crane Tech Qualified Mobile Crane Operator program in 2010, but had not been back since, nor had we provided any practical testing for this individual.
I educated the original company that reached out to me, in this case a primary contractor, regarding these inconsistencies and they informed me they would not be using this sub-contractor. I also reached out to the sub-contractor listed on the fake card as the “employer” only to find out the sub-contractor had placed their name on the card as the “employer” even though the operator was actually a sub-contractor to them, and not an employee.
Can you see the levels of deception here? They are nearly endless. Can you imagine the legal ramifications, should there have been an accident? Do what is right. Protect your company and job site. Hire properly certified and qualified operators and CHECK their credentials!
Have a safe day,
-Bo Collier, President
P.S. Remember, Safety through Education is more than just our motto, it is our guiding principle. Crane Tech wants to be your partner, not just with providing training but to keep your work sites safe with all your lifting and material handling needs. If you have a question or concern that you have been wondering about, feel free to comment below, call or email us today.