Tag: safety training

Columbus McKinnon Expands Training Offering to Include NCCCO Certification Program

Columbus McKinnon Expands Training Offering to Include NCCCO Certification Program


Columbus McKinnon has expanded its comprehensive offering of product and safety training to include NCCCO written and practical certification exams for Overhead Crane Operator Training. The first class will be held November 11-13 at our training center in Tonawanda, N.Y.

Columbus McKinnon’s Overhead Crane Operator Training class is comprised of classroom and hands-on training designed to educate students on OSHA, CMAA, ANSI/ASME B30, and ANSI/ASME P30 regulations as they apply to hoist and crane operators. The class also covers basic rigging safety, proper lifting practices and pre-operational inspection requirements. Now, students can choose to continue their education with NCCCO (National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators) certification. Earning this certification requires students to take a written exam as well as a practical, hands-on examination. To sign up for the course, visit the CMCO Training website.

Continuing education is very important for crane and hoist operators. By offering NCCCO Overhead Crane Operator Certification, we can help ensure students understand how to properly operate a crane and verify through nationally recognized testing that the student is competent in the course material.

IMG_9234As part of the accreditation process, Columbus McKinnon’s test course materials and test site area at the company’s Niagara Training Center were audited and approved by an NCCCO representative. CMCO instructors also successfully completed written and practical exams administered by the commission.

In addition to Overhead Crane Operator Training, Columbus McKinnon offers a comprehensive range of programs and seminars conducted at venues across North America to promote the safe and proper use of rigging and overhead lifting equipment. Courses include topics such as: hoist maintenance, crane and hoist inspection, Crane Institute of America Certification (CIC) for basic and advanced rigging, rigging gear inspection, and load securement.

For a full list of Columbus McKinnon’s training programs, visit our training website.

Columbus McKinnon fully endorses the national certification program offered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

Chris Zgoda

Chris Zgoda is a Corporate Trainer for Columbus McKinnon.

Can hoist hooks be repaired?

Can hoist hooks be repaired?

LodestarHook During my training sessions, I am frequently asked if hoist hooks can be repaired if they are damaged or broken. OSHA and ASME regulations provide specific requirements for hoist hook repair to help answer this question.

According to OSHA 1910.179 (L)(3)(iii)(A), hook repairs by welding or reshaping are not generally recommended. If such repairs are attempted they shall be done under competent supervision and the hook shall be load tested before further use.

While OSHA 1910.179 specifically pertains to a crane with top-running girders and top-running trolleys, it states that hook repair is allowed under certain conditions.

On the other hand, ASME B-30.10 Section 10-1.3 (d) states that “attachments, such as handles, latch supports, etc. shall not be welded to a finished hook in field applications. If welding of an attachment such as these is required, it shall be done in manufacturing or fabrication prior to any required final heat treatment.”

So the question remains, can hoist hooks be repaired?

Typically hoist hooks are forgings processed from hot-rolled alloy steel blanks of medium carbon content, such as grade AISI 4140. Hooks can be used in the “as forged” condition or further enhanced by thermal processing (heat treatment). Although fatigue strength improves with heat treatment, there is a resulting loss of ductility and elongation.

A repair that involves welding or any kind of heat treatment can affect the strength and ratings of a hook and therefore is not recommended.

Keep in mind, when a hook is damaged or broken, it can be an indicator that the hoist was overloaded, in which case the entire unit should be inspected for other damages.

In addition to referencing OSHA and ANSI requirements for hook repair, we also recommend that you always contact the manufacturer before making any questionable repairs on their products.

For more information on this topic, check out our Pre-operational Hoist Inspection video.

Further your education on crane and hoist operation and inspection. Check out these upcoming training courses from Columbus McKinnon:

Overhead Crane and Hoist Inspection Certification
CMCO Chain/Wire Rope Hoist Technician Certification

What other hoist or rigging questions do you have?

Perry Bishop

Perry Bishop is a Technical Trainer for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Missing Chain Sling ID Tags: Who Is To Blame?

Missing Chain Sling ID Tags: Who Is To Blame?

missing chain sling ID tagsJason asks:

Who is responsible for putting tags on chain slings?  Can I retag my chain slings with missing tags?  Do I have to load test a sling after I retag it?

Peter answers:

It is the sling manufacturer’s responsibility.  The sling manufacturer is a person or company assembling or fabricating sling components into their final form.  The sling manufacturer and the manufacturer of the sling materials may or may not be identical.  An end user who buys components and assembles them mechanically is the sling manufacturer. If the user does not know who the sling manufacturer is because the old tag fell off and went missing, then a decision needs to be made.  It is the user’s or rigger’s responsibility to maintain the tag and be sure it remains legible.  A rigger can not use a sling without a tag or when a tag is illegible or missing information.

Replacing missing chain sling ID tags becomes a question of competency.

Can the user properly inspect and retag the sling? For retagging, the user would need to start his own serial number for documentation purposes.  In doing so, this user would become the “sling manufacturer.” This can only be done if the user is properly trained and deemed competent.  Per OSHA,  a person who tags a sling must be a competent person designated by the employer.  ASME B30.9 states: replacement of the sling identification shall be considered a repair.  Slings shall be repaired only by the sling manufacturer or a qualified person. A repair shall be marked to identify the repairing agency. To be considered competent and or qualified, the user should have some inspection experience and complete a rigging gear inspection course from a reputable training organization.

If the user feels they are not competent to properly inspect and retag the sling, they would need to send the sling out to a rigging house with a competent person for inspection and retagging.  That rigging house now becomes the “sling manufacturer.”  Tags must have information per OSHA 1910.184(e) Alloy steel chain slings.  I have noted the key points below referencing both OSHA and ASME standards:

missing chain sling ID tags

OSHA 1910.184(e)(1) Sling Identification
Alloy steel chain slings shall have permanently affixed durable identification stating size, grade, rated capacity, and reach.

ASME B30.9:  SECTION 9-1.7: Sling Identification
9-1.7.1 Identification Requirements

Each sling shall be marked to show:
(a) name or trademark of the manufacturer
(b) grade
(c) nominal chain size
(d) number of legs
(e) rated loads for the type(s) of hitch(es) used and the angle upon which it is based
(f) length (reach).

A load test is not required if a sling is made up of individual load tested components from the component manufacturer. If the sling is always found in acceptable condition per ASME B30.9, OSHA 1910.184 and manufacturers’ recommendations, then the sling can remain in service without ever needing another load test performed.

Interested in getting trained? Learn more about our upcoming training classes.

Peter Cooke

Peter Cooke is a former Training Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, having specialized in Rigging & Load Securement.

What Is The Working Load Limit Of A 2-legged Chain Sling?

What Is The Working Load Limit Of A 2-legged Chain Sling?

2-legged chain sling Richard asks:

What is the working load limit of a ½ “ – G80 2-legged chain sling when both legs are used in a choke?


Peter answers:

The first thing that you want to do is to look at how the choke is rigged or rendered.  Working load limits shown on charts or tags for vertical chokes are based on the angle of choke being 120 degrees or greater.  If there is less than a 120-degree angle of choke, the choke rating must be reduced further. Once we determine the correct choke rating, we can take into account the angle of loading.

2-legged chain sling

First, you take the choke rating and multiply it by the SIN of the angle x 2 = Rating of a two leg sling used in a choke.

Our charts show that ½” grade 80 chain is good for 9,600 lbs when pulled vertically with a choke hitch of 120 degrees or greater.   Let’s assume when this double sling is rigged at a 60-degree angle it has a choke hitch of 120 degrees or greater.   Our working load limit for this sling is 9600 lbs x .866 ( sin of 60 degrees) = 8314 lbs x 2 legs = 16628 lbs.

Another way is to take the rating of the sling at a 60-degree angle and reduce it by 20%. Again assuming 120-degree angle of choke, ½” Grade 80 double sling chain is good for 20,800 lbs (at a 60-degree angle) x .8 (20% reduction):  rating: 16640 lbs.

Our first example is a little more conservative.

If you want to learn more about rigging, check out our rigging training.

Peter Cooke

Peter Cooke is a former Training Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, having specialized in Rigging & Load Securement.

CM-ET Announces Online Lodestar Maintenance Training

CM-ET Announces Online Lodestar Maintenance Training


For over 30 years, CM-ET has been conducting this 1-day motor class to help familiarize entertainment technicians and riggers on safe and proper general maintenance and repair of the CM-ET Lodestar. Starting today, this popular class is available online!

Get trained today!
Students can expect the same level of information they would get if they attended one of our hands-on classes at our Training Centers, but without the inconvenience and expense of traveling. Get trained online and learn at your pace and on your own schedule.

Who should take the class?
This is a great course for beginners or anyone needing a refresher. For those individuals looking to take the more advanced hands-on CM-ET Motor Certification Technician course, this class is the perfect place to start.

Course Overview
This online course walks students through the disassembly of the classic model “L” CM-ET Lodestar.  Topics include:

  • Function and inspection of key components
  • Adjusting limit switches
  • Inspecting and adjusting the brake
  • Understanding CMCO specifications
    and inspection requirements
  • Types of proper documentation
  • Understanding basic electricity and wiring diagrams
  • Performing a Load Test
  • General maintenance, inspection and troubleshooting

Testing & Completion
Throughout the training, students will be tested on the material covered. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a Certificate of Training.

Get Trained Today!

Peter Cooke

Peter Cooke is a former Training Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, having specialized in Rigging & Load Securement.

Five Intense Days at CM-ET Mega School: An Alumni Review

Five Intense Days at CM-ET Mega School: An Alumni Review

CM-ET Mega School

We love to talk about our entertainment training. We believe in teaching people how to be safer in their work environments. As much as I enjoy hearing stories from our training team, what gives me even greater pleasure is hearing this same enthusiasm echoed from one of our attendees.

Bart Wells from Cory’s Audio Visual Services recently attended our CM Entertainment Mega School. We hosted 45 attendees for 5 days together with instructors from across the country. Bart’s comments really grabbed my attention. But rather than me tell the story, I will let Bart do it himself:

CM-ET Mega SchoolIf you have ever considered attending a manufacturer hosted workshop or training seminar then you know that you run the risk of signing up for a ‘Sales Pitch’ with some education tossed in. Rest assured that if you attended the CM Entertainment Mega School – a 5-day hoist, truss, and rigging seminar – it is 100% education without any ‘selling’ going on the entire week.

“The week begins with a 2-day intensive ‘dive’ into the Lodestar electric chain hoist. Dave Carmack walks you, step by step, through every moving and electrical part of the hoist. Dave’s intimate knowledge of the hoist’s design, engineering and construction make it easy for him to demystify the hoist and allow every student to feel comfortable pulling it apart and putting it back together again.

“With the Road Technician Certification Class (RTC Class) the end of the second day brings an exam. If you passed, you will be rewarded with a CM certification identifying you as a qualified CM Motor Technician. This IS NOT a “gimme” course with a certification that is guaranteed just because you attend. The test is difficult and people do fail. But if you pay attention you will get all the information you need to pass from Dave.

“Day 3 covers truss theory and safe working practices with truss, taught by the president of James Thomas Engineering, Tray Allen.

“Days 4 and 5
are a formula filled frenzy of safe rigging practices, fall protection and rigging calculations. Eric Rouse shares his knowledge of theatrical and aerial rigging while easily relating it to the arena environment as well. His honest approach to safe and practical rigging practices provides the understanding that we are responsible for knowing our craft and keeping ourselves and our peers safe.

“Perhaps the most exciting part of the course is the math. Eric presents the most common formulas that are used in calculating bridal lengths as well as being able to provide load, force and tension calculations for any scenario. This overview provides attendees with the tools to not only “know” that something is safe, but to be able to back it up with numbers.

“In the end the CM Entertainment Mega School is truly a week of education. The instructors are working members of the industry, not salesmen. If you come to the course with the intention of learning 5 new things, you will leave the course with a great deal more than you ever expected. Do not miss the opportunity to become a better, safer and more educated member of the entertainment industry. Attend a CM-ET Mega School this year.”

Barton Wells
Cory’s Audio Visual Services

Helpful CM Entertainment Links:
The LDI Show and Stories from Vegas That We Can Share
What is Wrong with this Entertainment Application?
CM Entertainment Website
CM Entertainment on Twitter

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

What the VPPPA is Doing to Address Safety in the Workplace

What the VPPPA is Doing to Address Safety in the Workplace

The 2012 National Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) conference was held in Anaheim, California this month.  The conference consisted of industry leading companies that are involved in voluntary protection programs from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Energy (DOE) or other government agencies. These agencies are responsible for developing and implementing cooperative recognition programs. During the conference, Columbus McKinnon had the opportunity to present a workshop on Rigging Gear Safety Inspections.  

Everyone came together for networking and education.

VPPPA conference participants  included health and safety managers, employee safety team members, industrial hygienists, union representatives, consultants, environmental health specialists, human resource managers and government agency representatives from OSHA and the DOE.

The VPPPA Conference allows workers to have a voice.

The VPPPA has grown and diversified itself since its inception in 1982, continuously adding members and addressing newly identified safety and health issues. Columbus McKinnon is a proud member and supporter of the VPPPA and its mission. The conference allows workers to have a voice and presents the tools to improve their workplace, become more efficient, and save money each year. The conference provided an educational experience that exceeded our expectations. Over the course of 3 days an estimated 200 workshops were conducted. The workshops, open to all attendees, gave workers the opportunity to learn or improve their knowledge of safety and health issues. They are conducted by industry professionals proficient in a particular subject manner. Presentations were followed up by a Q & A session.

Columbus McKinnon is recognized as an industry leader in material handling manufacturing, but did you know Columbus McKinnon is also a leader in material handling safety? We conducted a Rigging Gear Safety Inspection workshop at the VPPPA. Our hands-on workshop identified potential hazards in the manufacturing, construction and entertainment industries. Common misused material handling gear such as slings, shackles, wire rope, and below the hook lifters were discussed.

We take material handling seriously.

Columbus McKinnon offers material handling safety training in various full-day courses to allow workers to participate in a hands-on experience. Workers can get their questions answered by industry professionals. The experience and the knowledge gained through our training courses allows companies to improve safety in their workplace and become more efficient. Click here to learn more.

Did you attend the VPPPA conference?  If so, what did you learn? What inspired you the most? Please share your experiences with us in our comments section.

Chris Zgoda

Chris Zgoda is a Corporate Trainer for Columbus McKinnon.

IADC Conference Highlights, An Update on Competency Guideline Changes

IADC Conference Highlights, An Update on Competency Guideline Changes

Oil & Gas

Over the summer I had the opportunity to share a Hoist Safety presentation at the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) conference in Lafayette, Louisiana. Since 1940, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) has exclusively represented the worldwide oil and gas drilling industry. IADC’s mission is three-fold: to advance drilling and completion technology; improve industry health, safety, environmental and training practices; and champion sensible regulations and legislation which facilitate safe and efficient drilling. Membership is open to any company involved in oil and gas exploration, drilling or production, well servicing, oil field manufacturing or other rig-site services.

The meeting focused on training and competency.

A group called the Offshore Lifting Safety Data Workgroup (OLSDW) formed in 2009 analyzed lifting data/incidents on the outer continental shelf. They looked at data from 2007 – 2011. From this data they concluded that the majority of the injuries were happening from human error. Incidents occurred when individuals came in contact with the load or loads shifted. The OLSDW is recommending that more emphasis be placed on proper rigging training. The focus is to ensure that riggers are following proper procedures.

How do we measure competency?

IADC presenters asked a very important question. “How do we measure competency?”
A  member stated “…a person can be very competent up to or until they have an incident.”  Even though the individual may be well trained, they may have made a bad decision or choice on that given day or time period. Training is important, but it represents only one aspect of competency.

Hercules Offshore put things into perspective when they showed an engaging video. The video showed a family man who was very aware of safety and even taught his son safe practices at home. When he arrives at work, he is tired from a poor night’s sleep. He finds out he did not get promoted. One of his crew team members is sick but is working through it. Some of the guys are not taking the morning safety briefing seriously and joking around. The supervisor comes in and tells them there is a rush to get a job done and to get back to work immediately.

Three Outcomes

As these daily distractions happen, the focus is no longer on the job task at hand. Suddenly, there is an accident. The video shows three outcomes.

1. In the first outcome, the family man dies. His family is devastated. A wife is without her husband, depressed and not able to engage with her son who is also equally depressed. Their lives are ruined.

2. In the second outcome, the man severly injures his arm. When he arrives home from the hospital, he is addicted to pain medicine and depressed. He no longer engages with his family. His marriage is falling apart. Their lives are seriously impacted.

3. The third outcome shows what happens when the job was done properly and everyone stayed competent. The man arrives back home safely. Life is normal. This outcome is what is expected and should happen every day.

Think about your own state of mind or physical condition.

Many of us drive cars. How many times have we been tired, angry, upset, sick and should not have been behind the wheel or just simply driving bad at a given time? I sure many of you reading this message agree.

Managers, supervisors and employees need to spot or recognize times where distractions can lead to incompetency from competent people. Proper training, procedures and checks can help minimize the risks. We need to be more aware of our surroundings. Not just site hazards but also be aware of ourselves and the people we work with.

IADC is working to develop worldwide competency guidelines.

IADC has started a challenging project to develop worldwide competency guidelines for virtually all rig positions for the oil field. The American Petroleum Institute, (API) is also taking this seriously. They are revamping their API RP 2D to address training for lifting operations. The 7th addition, expected to be completed and out for balloting by January 2013, will revolve around training required for personnel that are involved with lifting operations. (crane operators, inspectors and riggers.) There will be more emphasis on “hands on” training and the demonstration of competencies.

Columbus McKinnon has a “hands on” rigging training program called the Qualified Rigger Workshop. This 3 day course is 50% lecture and 50% hands-on. Students are tested with (2) written tests and hands-on exercises to demonstrate competency. A third party rigging certification (level 1 basic or level 2 advanced) through Crane Institute Certification is offered as an option on the 4th day.

Invest the time to get the training that you need. Be aware of your surroundings. Be safe.

Peter Cooke

Peter Cooke is a former Training Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, having specialized in Rigging & Load Securement.

Wire Rope Hoist Training Insights & Why Certification Matters

Wire Rope Hoist Training Insights & Why Certification Matters

Have you ever opened a Shaw-Box 700 Series wire rope hoist to see its inner workings? Do you know what the ideal preventative maintenance schedule should be on a Yale World Series, or how to properly double reeve a Cable King? The Columbus McKinnon training programs answer all these questions and a whole lot more.

In the Wire Rope Hoist Repair Certification class that I attended, each student is exposed to fully operational hoists on girders to unpowered models on accessible dollies. The class was taught by Columbus McKinnon’s training manager Peter Cooke, who has over 16 years of experience. His mix of traditional classroom instruction paired with hands-on training provides the complete setting for this certification course.

Certification is becoming more important.

When asked about the importance of training, many students replied that they were not allowed to work on a company’s hoist unless they furnished proof of certification. This seemed to be a popular response and the direction that the industry is heading.

This certification course is offered over 2 days, and gives each student an accreditation to work in the field with these hoists. In these classes, there are as many seasoned veterans as there are industry rookies which is a testament to the importance placed on certification. Everyone counts.

What material is covered during the training?

A student can expect to spend most of class time taking apart and studying the components of each hoist. Upon breakdown of the hoists, Peter teaches the proper way to inspect and replace parts, reviews wiring schematics and how to access and replace normal wear items. Over the 2 days with fellow industry technicians, there were many opportunities to discuss the tricks of the trade and best practice procedures which students can implement in their current positions.

When looking to further your expertise and gain the certifications required in many of today’s industrial settings, look no further than the Columbus McKinnon training programs. Click here to view a complete listing of training programs and to access the newest training catalog.

Be safe. Get trained.

This post was written by Dan Daumen, former  Product Manager for After Sales Solutions at Columbus McKinnon.

The Newest Chapter of ASME B30.11: What You Need to Know

The Newest Chapter of ASME B30.11: What You Need to Know

ASME B30.11 The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standard, B30.11 has another chapter.  Revised in 2010, the most apparent change is the addition of Chapter 11-4, “Maintenance Training and Maintenance.”

ASME B30.11-4.1 states:

Maintenance training shall be provided to promote proficient adjustments, repairs, and replacements on crane and monorail systems….”

This added chapter includes requirements for not only underhung crane and monorail maintenance training, but for certification as an underhung crane and monorail maintenance person.  Certification is required for all persons who maintain and/or service monorails and underhung cranes. Are you and your underhung crane and monorail maintenance personnel trained and certified?

If your answer is “no” and you are interested in becoming certified, here are some classes that may interest you:

CMCO Chain Hoist Technician Certification
CMCO Wire Rope Hoist Technician Certification
CMCO Overhead Crane & Hoist Inspection Certification
Overhead Crane and Hoist Frequent/Monthly inspection

For additional reference, check our other ASME blog post:  The Latest ASME Updates

Tom Reardon

Tom Reardon is a Technical Instructor specializing in Hoists & Overhead Cranes for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.