North Carolina Crane operator training, licensing and safety information

North Carolina crane operators

Licensing information

To operate a crane in North Carolina you need to submit certain documents including a copy of you Nationally Accredited Crane Certification.

If you have not obtained your OSHA Accredited Crane Operator Certificate, click the link now!!!

News Articles

Crane Accident Kills One Worker, Injures Another
One worker was killed and another seriously injured in a crane accident after both fell off the West Seattle Bridge in Washington state. The Seattle Times reports a passing truck driver struck the boom lift, later insisting he didn’t see any traffic control markings, such as cones, barriers or a flagger in the moments before the crash. The two men were reportedly contractors, which can sometimes muddy the question of workers’ compensation benefits. Independent contractors are generally not eligible for benefits from the general contractor, but it will depend on the agreement between the two entities and which company purchased benefits.
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If another contractor or the general contractor was responsible for establishing proper traffic controls on this site, it’s entirely possible too that the victims/ surviving family could additionally pursue a third-party action for negligence, which could further increase the compensation to which they are entitled. A second action might be plausible against the truck driver/ employer, a mushroom farm delivery driver.

News reports of this incident are that the 40-year-old decedent fell approximately 50 feet, landing on the roadway underneath the bridge deck, according to police. He was transported to the hospital and later died. The second worker, a 57-year-old man, fell approximately 15 feet. He had to undergo surgery, but was in satisfactory condition as of the report.

Police investigators will still trying to ascertain whether the box truck hit the elevated basket itself or the arm of the basket. The truck driver underwent a series of field sobriety tests at the scene, which is routine when there is a fatal traffic accident, and police have not given any indication that intoxication is believed to have been a factor.

A spokeswoman for the mushroom farm said the driver saw no traffic control devices and has a track record as a very safe driver. She insisted the company prides itself on safety and regularly holds driver training sessions. The two construction workers in this case worked for a contractor responsible for installing rods and other equipment that keep the bridge from cracking and crumbling in the event of an earthquake.

Investigators with the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) will be looking carefully at whether proper traffic control devices were in place and also whether the two workers were abiding all relevant safety precautions.

How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator in North Carolina

Heavy equipment operators are in high demand, and the state of North Carolina is no exception. Expanding populations and a desire for new construction ensure that equipment operators have steady work and a variety of jobs to choose from. Becoming a heavy equipment operator in North Carolina is not a difficult process as long as you have the proper qualifications and a desire to work.

  • Take a course in heavy equipment operation. Many trade schools now offer courses in machinery operation that will give you a head start on your career in heavy equipment operation. You will learn how to run a wide variety of machinery such as loaders, bulldozers, backhoes and excavators that will come in handy as you look for a job running equipment.
  • Contact the North Carolina Department of Transportation to make sure that there are no current restrictions that would prevent you from operating heavy equipment in the state. Certain types of licenses or citation can prevent you from legally operating equipment in North Carolina, so be sure you are legal
  • Become proficient in operating smaller pieces of machinery. Working with and gaining experience on smaller machines such as small backhoes and simple loaders will allow you to become familiar with how to operate the larger and more complex machines down the line.
  • Work your way up to experience on more difficult pieces of equipment as you gain experience and become more comfortable with larger machinery. Looking for employment as a general equipment operator will give you the chance to work on many different machines and become skilled at a variety of equipment.
  • Check state opportunities. Many state organizations offer excellent training and employment in heavy equipment operation, and can be an excellent tool for gaining more experience and knowledge as a heavy equipment operator in North Carolina. The North Carolina Office of Personnel keeps a current listing of available heavy equipment operator positions and has information handy on how to apply for them.

Update on Operator Certification and Recent OSHA Meeting in D.C.
Most of you who read this will be familiar with the draft proposed recently by OSHA regarding crane operator qualification which would replace the original wording of the 1926 (subpart CC) section 1427.
This is the section where the operator certification and qualification requirements are covered. You can go to to read the entire proposed draft.

In a nutshell, the draft was a rewrite of what qualifies and/or certifies an equipment operator, which includes a variety of crane types. In particular, the draft as written would require an extensive annual evaluation of the operator and require that the operator attend a very strenuous training program. The 'proposed draft' changed the current wording which states that operators are to be "certified by type and capacity of equipment" to "operators are to be certified by type of equipment."
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As you might expect, there was an adverse reaction to this proposed draft, especially by employers of crane and equipment operators, since an annual evaluation of each operator would be extremely time-consuming and costly. Personally, I was not surprised by this proposed draft. I knew change was coming when OSHA extended the operator certification date because of the opposition of certain groups over operators having to be certified by type and capacity.

Also, it was pretty obvious that OSHA had given serious thought to the subject of cranes, particularly to personnel who operate them, that certification did not equal qualification and there should be a greater emphasis on operator training, assessment and evaluation. OSHA scheduled an ACCSH (Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health) meeting onMarch 2, to discuss the proposed draft. ACCSH is a 15-member advisory body that provides advice and assistance in construction and policy matters to the assistant secretary.

ACCSH meetings are open to the public and are announced in the Federal Register. As you would expect, the room was full. CIC was represented by Tony Brown, Jeff Dudley, Pete Walsh and myself. Tony and I signed up to be speakers. When it came our time to speak, Tony and I both recommended to the ACCSH committee that the language requiring operators to be certified by type and capacity should remain in the regulation.

We made this recommendation based on the following reasoning: half of the four accredited certification organizations (NCCER and CIC) developed their certification programs by type and capacity because OSHA said that would be the requirement. It just would not be fair to these organizations to change the original requirement for certification which was by type and capacity and force them to change their programs. That would not only be unfair, it defies common sense!

Tony and I both understand there are operators that have certifications which are based on type only. Requiring them to be certified by type and capacity would cause them to be disenfranchised. Therefore, we recommended to the ACCSH committee that not only should type and capacity be left in the regulation, but the regulation should also allow operators to be certified by type. The standard would ultimately read that operators of equipment be certified by type and capacity or by type. We felt like this would satisfy all of the certification organizations and would be fair to all of them as well.

The next day, the ACCSH committee recommended by motion several things to OSHA. First, that OSHA needs to rework the operator evaluation and re-evaluation language and that type and capacity be put back into the rewrite of 1427. This would result in operators having the choice of being certified by type and capacity or by type only. ACCSH also recommended that OSHA clarify whether a trainer be certified or certified and qualified and that OSHA develop some reasonable definition of who the controlling contractor would be on the job site.

I've always been a little skeptical of OSHA and its control in the workplace. However, after attending the ACCSH meeting I have a lot more respect for OSHA and what it does to protect workers. I was also very pleased with the meeting and have great admiration for the members of the ACCSH committee. Some of these members might not have even known what a crane was when the meeting first started, but they came up to speed very quickly and were very astute to the issues being presented. They made appropriate motions and recommendations to OSHA regarding the most important points of the proposed draft.

So this is what we can be assured of: OSHA is going to require that operators be evaluated on a periodic basis with signed documentation by an evaluator. There will be more stringent training requirements which will have to be documented along with the periodic evaluations. In other words, people will have to attend more of a professional type training program which covers the topics outlined in the proposed draft.

It was also expressed that OSHA would like to get all of this done by year's end. So now we just have to wait for OSHA to do their work and present another rewrite of what was previously proposed. It will then have to go through the process and hopefully by year's end all of this can be done and this certification issue can be put to bed, and the industry can move forward in a direction that would help more men and women go home safely at the end of the work day.

*It is essential that you check with your local government and confirm that the information listed above is still good today. This information
should only be used as a tool to help you figure out what type of license you need to operate certain types of equipment.

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