Requirement for National Certification is Less Than One Year Away

April 13, 2017

UPDATE as of November 9, 2017: New Federal OSHA requirement for national certification of crane operators becomes enforceable November 10, 2018 for all states per construction crane rule 29CFR§1926.1400 CC. The requirement has officially been pushed back one year.

What does this mean?

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You may need to become nationally certified in order to stay compliant with the Federal requirement. It is extremely important that employers, riggers, signal persons, crane operators, and those working around cranes understand exactly what types of training is now required by law and what level of qualification or certification is required for their state and even their bordering states.

The employer is responsible to ensure that their employees are trained, qualified or nationally certified in accordance with the State and Federal Laws for craning, rigging, signaling, spotting, and working around cranes.

In November of 2010, the Federal Crane Law for Construction 29CFR§1926.1400CC was amended and rewritten. This new regulation included new inspection requirements, new operating rules, new rules when operating around energized power lines, crane operator aids, new rules for elevating personnel and paramount to employers there are new rules and regulations clearly showing employer requirements and responsibilities to ensure that all personnel involved with craning are appropriately trained, tested, evaluated, qualified, or nationally certified as stated.

Terminology and Definitions

1) Trained person: By internal or external instruction, training, and practical instruction has the knowledge, ability and/or skills to perform work or specific tasks appropriately and in a safe manner and understand specific job site hazards. Testing to verify knowledge and skill should be provided. Records retained.

2) Qualified person: By possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, successfully demonstrated the ability to solve/resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project. Testing or verification of knowledge comprehension should be provided. Proof on site and records retained. Qualified Person Training would include:

  • Appropriate levels of experience, training, testing, and evaluation
  • Passing written and practical tests verifying knowledge and competency
  • Valid for 5 years
  • Have refresher testing within the 5 year period
  • Proof of training, testing, and evaluation be available (some states require ID cards)

The requirement for qualification may be met by using either a third party qualified evaluator, such as OVERTON Safety Training, or by using a designated competent person to perform in-house training. Our trainer programs are great for companies wanting to train in-house without having to develop a program themselves. Online ordering available at

3) Certified person: Passed a national certification written and practical examination on the specific endorsement or cranes noted on the ID card. Exams must be provided by a nationally accredited testing agency (NCCCO*, NCCER, or CIC). Proof must be on person. National Certification would include:

  • Administer written and practical tests (have retesting procedures in case of initial failure)
  • Valid for 5 years
  • Have testing procedures for re-certification
  • The operator’s certificate must state the type/capacity of equipment for which the operator is certified

*OVERTON Safety Training fully supports the NCCCO and has 11 instructors/evaluators on our full time staff who are all NCCCO Nationally Certified Crane Operators and NCCCO Nationally Accredited Practical Examiners.

Test Weight, crane training

Which cranes are included in the National Certification Requirement?

  • Mobile cranes, boom trucks, articulating cranes, digger derricks, cranes on barges, locomotive cranes, industrial cranes, dedicated pile drivers, service/mechanics trucks with hoisting device, tower cranes, pedestal & portal cranes, overhead and gantry cranes, straddle cranes, side-boom cranes, and variations of such equipment.
  • Telehandler forklifts or multi-purpose machines when configured to hoist and lower (by means of a winch or hook) and horizontally move a suspended load.

Which cranes are exempt from requiring National Certification of Operators?

  • Overhead and gantry cranes which are permanently installed.
  • Digger derricks used for sub-part V electrical transmission or communication work.
  • Washington only: Telehandler forklifts utilizing a winch and hook.
  • Oregon only: Articulating cranes and loaders delivering building materials (not exempt in WA and CA) but only if:
  • Has automatic overload protection system (OLP) on crane
  • Pick and drop next to the crane in no particular order when using slings.
  • Using pallet forks or sheet rock forks to deliver to the roof or window.
  • Delivering sheet goods or packaged materials include, but are not limited to: sheets of sheet rock, sheets of plywood, bags of cement, sheets or packages of roofing shingles, and rolls of roofing felt.
  • The employer must train each operator in the proper tag-out and start-up procedures.

If you are exempt, your state and/or city may still require you to be a qualified operator (reference qualification guidelines under the terminology section).

If you need to achieve national certification, we can help!

Our workshops are available both onsite at your location and via our scheduled open enrollment classes. The workshops assist employers in meeting the new federal and selected state regulations for National Certification of Crane Operators and include the NCCCO National Certification Written and Practical Exams.

The training curriculum is designed to prepare students to take the applicable NCCCO National Certification written exams and covers pre-operation inspection, controls, functions, stability, set-up, outriggers, leveling, cribbing, hazards, wire rope, load hooks, load handling, traveling, rotating, elevating and lowering loads, load placement, load rating charts used on the exam, load weight calculating, calculating lifting solutions and signaling/spotting.

Preparatory Courses Include:

  • Student preparatory workbook
  • 2-5 day preparatory workshop (duration depends on crane classification)
  • Practice written knowledge check quizzes
  • NCCCO National Certification written exams
  • NCCCO National Certification practical exams

Crane Classifications (as determined by NCCCO) that OVERTON provides workshops for:

Abbr. Description Abbr. Description
TSS Fixed Station Telescopic Mobile Cranes ABC Articulating Boom Cranes (no winch)
TLL Swing Station Telescopic Mobile Cranes ABL Articulating Sheetrock Loader Cranes
LBT Lattice Boom Truck Mobile Cranes ABW Articulating Boom Cranes (winch)
LBC Lattice Boom Crawler Mobile Cranes BTF Telescopic Boom Truck Mobile Cranes
TC Tower Cranes STC Service Truck Cranes
OHC Overhead Cranes DDC Digger Derrick Cranes

OVERTON Safety Training, Inc. endorses the national certification program offered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) and provides training to prepare candidates for NCCCO examinations.

Please contact our office toll free at (866) 531-0403 if you have any questions or are interested in setting up a class.

Are you already nationally certified?

You are already in compliance with the new Federal requirement. Verify that you are in compliance with your specific state and city regulations (some have specific requirements). Review the refresher requirements for your certification (specific to NCCCO, NCCER, CIC) and do not let your certification lapse. You may need to retake both the written and practical exams, or you may just need to do a refresher written exam (which is now available as Computer Based Testing).

Employees Working Around Cranes

Train your employees working around cranes to the required Federal regulations, verify comprehension with testing, and provide proof of training upon request.

Requires Qualification

  • Signal persons & Spotters for Craning
  • Rigging for Craning
  • Maintenance Employees Using Cranes
  • Maintenance Employees Using Cranes
  • Crane Certifier/Inspector (Note: Washington requires a Washington State Certifier License)
  • Crane Inspection
  • Assembly/Dis-assembly (A/D) Director
  • Lift Director/Site Supervisor

Note: The last two positions may be held by the same person (it may be the operator of the crane in some instances).

State Specific Regulations

(Examples of Oregon, California, and Washington)
Crane Supervisors, crane training

  • Title 8 Subchapter 4 (General & All Industry)
  • Title 8 Subchapter 7 (Construction)
  • Requires all Operators be Qualified
  • Requires Nationally Certified Operators for all cranes with >25ft boom length or 7.5T max rating or greater.


  • OAR 437 Division 2 Subdivision N (General & All Industry)
  • OAR 437 Division 3 Subdivision H, R, CC (Construction)
  • Requires all Operators be Nationally Certified by November 2017.
  • Requires Qualified Operator Training Card with Photo ID for operators of cranes >5T. 4hr refresher required every 3 years.


  • WAC 296-24 Section 240, 294 (General & All Industry)
  • WAC 296-155 Sub-part L (Construction)
  • Requires all Operators be Qualified
  • Requires all Crane Operators (>1T) be Nationally Certified and have required hours of crane operating and crane related experience as per their table in sub-part L.

For information on additional states or cities with specific requirements contact us toll free at (866) 531-0403.

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