Crane & Rigging 35th Anniversary Workshop Draws More than 540 Attendees

SC&RA held its Annual Crane and Rigging Workshop in Louisville Kentucky from September 19-21. More than 540 people attended the event which included an exhibition, committee meetings, featured speakers, education sessions and concluded with a tour of the Link-Belt headquarters plant and a demonstration of their line of mobile telescoping and boom cranes.

The main issue covered by the Crane & Rigging Governing Committee was a detailed discussion of OSHA’s recent interpretation of the new crane operator certification requirements. Jim Maddux, Director of the Directorate of Construction, participated in the committee meeting and later was the featured speaker at the Conference opening session. Currently OSHA is requiring that all crane operators must be certified by the type and capacity of equipment.

Three of the major differences of opinion between OSHA and the industry Maddux discussed are:

  • OSHA sees certification as the capstone of professional achievement in the operation of specific cranes. The industry sees certification as minimum competency to operate the various types of cranes with much greater training needed.
  • Industry believes the certification should be primarily on the type of crane whereas OSHA believes each certificate should include type AND capacity.
  • OSHA wants the certification bodies to work with their respective standards organizations to determine the structure of crane operator certification programs.

The industry, certification bodies and labor would like to achieve greater clarification from OSHA very quickly as to how the programs can and will be structured. Maddux concluded his remarks indicating his agency’s willingness and interest in continuing to work with all parties to find acceptable solutions.

Some of the featured breakout sessions covered safety, air caster technology, social media, equipment inspections, and what to do to protect your business from liability when an accident occurs.

Mark Eaton, former center for the Utah Jazz and president of 7ft4.com, LLC created an audience participatory presentation on how each attendee can improve their work performance and productivity based on lessons he learned throughout his basketball career.

The four ways Eaton discussed were:

  • determine your strengths and focus on what you do best
  • find out what people want from you and give it to them
  • make others around you look good
  • protect your teammates

The exhibit hall contained a record number of 77 companies and was attended by virtually every workshop attendee to learn about the latest products and services for crane and rigging organizations. A wide variety of companies were represented including: leading crane manufacturers and distributors; technology companies; specialty insurance providers; crane inspection, repair and supply companies; safety products and service suppliers; industry publishers and even I.M.P.A.C.T. , the labor management partnership designed to provide a forum for union Ironworkers and signatory contractors to address mutual concerns and encourage reasonable, balanced solutions.

The conference concluded with a tour of the Link-Belt headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. Over two hundred attendees were treated to a comprehensive plant tour, a demonstration of Link-Belt’s fleet of mobile cranes, and the introduction of the new RTC Series II, 80 ton capacity crane and the 248HSL, 200 ton capacity crane.

Attendee reaction to the Workshop was overwhelmingly positive.Mark your calendars to make sure you attend the 2013 Workshop scheduled for September 18-20 in Orlando, Florida.

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