Overhead Crane Training & Certification
What do we offer? Whether you want overhead crane certification in as little as two hours with our online training or a more robust, customizable option like you get with our DIY training kits or on-site training, we can help you get the overhead crane training you want in the way you want it and at a price you can afford.
What are my options for overhead crane training?
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Overhead Crane Training Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of overhead cranes (bridge cranes)?
Over the years various types of overhead cranes and chain hoists have been manufactured for specific purposes. Each is better suited to handle certain jobs when compared to others. For this reason, it is vital you understand what type of overhead crane is best for the job you will be performing.
Generally speaking, when people are looking for overhead crane training and certification for their crane operators, there are five main types of overhead cranes they are referring to: overhead cranes, chain hoists, bridge cranes, mobile gantry cranes and jib cranes.
How often do I need overhead crane training?
OSHA requires overhead crane safety training (bridge crane training) for overhead crane and hoist operators — on that, there is no question. Where confusion exists is how often operators need overhead crane refresher training or re-certification. Outside of the initial safety training class, it is common to see companies set re-certification every three years. We are one of them. And here’s why:
As far as this 3-year overhead crane safety training certification goes, OSHA regulations are very specific when it comes to forklifts and a couple of other pieces of equipment. However, on everything else they are not so clear. They just state the employer must regularly provide safety training for their overhead crane operators. Following industry best practices, we’ve adopted this 3-year term in order to help employers comply with the general standard of regularly providing and proving overhead crane training. Ultimately, it is up to the employer to determine how frequently their overhead crane operators need to be trained. Many of our customers require it more often, annually even. Others may stretch it out a bit. In working with OSHA, though, it is our experience that they like to see employers adopt the strictest standard when the regulations are not clear. For instance, we know of companies that didn’t train every three years and were reprimanded by OSHA for not offering additional training more often. It is not uncommon for OSHA to refer to the forklift standard as the pattern by which training should be carried out for other pieces of equipment. On a side note, OSHA is slowly but surely making training requirements specific for other pieces of equipment so there are no gray areas. Mobile cranes and aerial lifts, for instance, are all undergoing potential changes to the regulations that will reference training specifically.
So, with that in mind, we say overhead crane operators must be re-evaluated every three years to determine if they are still competent enough to operate. We also state that this every-three-year overhead crane operator evaluation is the maximum time that should be allowed to pass before an operator receives overhead crane recertification. According to OSHA, there are several instances that will require additional bridge crane training and observation before the three year period is up:
- Overhead crane operator is observed in an accident or a near miss
- Overhead crane operator received a poor evaluation or is observed driving in a dangerous manner
- The overhead crane operator is assigned to operate a different type of overhead crane hoist (mobile system, jib crane, etc.), or the workplace has changed significantly enough to require additional bridge crane training
I’ve received Jib Crane Training. Can I operate a bridge crane with a pendant control?
Not likely. OSHA requires overhead crane operators to receive overhead crane safety training for each type of overhead crane they will be using.
I’ve operated overhead cranes for 30 years. Do I need to take a class, a written exam, and a practical exam still? Or can I just take a written test?
No matter how long you’ve been on the job, OSHA requires overhead crane safety training, a written exam, and a practical overhead crane evaluation. There is no way around it. This goes for other types of overhead cranes too. The extent of the classroom training can be adapted by the instructor according to student needs. The written exam proves mental competency and understanding of the safety principles taught. And the practical evaluation proves the scissor lift operator not only understands but is capable of operating the machine safely. In the opinion of many, the practical evaluation is of the greatest overall value, but all components are necessary. Our overhead crane online courses and our overhead crane safety training kits both meet these requirements and include exams.
I received overhead crane training at a different job. Do I need to be trained again by my new employer?
This is a common question, especially among laborers-for-hire who may sub out from job to job. Technically, it is your current employer who is responsible for saying whether or not you have been trained specifically for the type of overhead crane and job. For example, if you bring an overhead crane certificate or wallet card to your new employer, they do not have to accept it. It is their right to require you to take their own training class. This is because if there is an accident, they will likely be responsible and need to prove to OSHA that they trained you on safe overhead crane operations.
Can you explain overhead crane certification? Who can train, evaluate, and certify operators?
This, above all, causes a lot of confusion. Bottom line, OSHA states that employers are responsible to train their employees. Generally speaking, there are three ways they can do this:
- Train employees in-house with their own program
- Hire a 3rd party to train the employees (on-site or off-site)
- Use another company’s materials or online classes to train employees
In terms of using a 3rd party or a safety training companies materials (like our training programs or our online overhead crane certification classes) OSHA does not recognize one company over another. They simply state that ‘training needs to occur’ and ‘here are the things an overhead crane operator should be trained on.’
When we do live training or offer overhead crane safety training online, people often assume we are the ones certifying the trainees. This is not true for any training company. We are simply assisting the employer by providing live overhead crane safety training or the training materials needed to help them overhead crane certify their employees.
How do I take the overhead crane practical evaluation if I take overhead crane safety training online?
The online overhead crane class covers OSHA requirements for the classroom portion. Many employers prefer online training because they know exactly what overhead crane safety training the operator will receive. In live classes, the training sometimes varies. A written exam is included at the end of our online training courses. After the overhead crane class and exam are finished, you and your safety managers will have immediate access to a practical evaluation checklist. This can be printed off and used by your supervisor to help him or her evaluate you on the overhead crane. When done, they can sign it and file it with your exam. This will satisfy OSHA requirements for overhead crane certification.
My trainee scored 70% on the exam. Did he pass or fail?
Contrary to popular belief, OSHA does not dictate what a passing score is. That is ultimately up to the employer whose responsibility it is to certify, or authorize, their employee to operate an overhead crane. If you want to pass him at 70%, fine. But what if a question or two among the 30% missed could lead to an accident or death? Is it worth it? Our recommendation is that you always go over any missed questions with your trainees—even if they just missed one. Once they understand the principle missed, have them write their initials by the correct answer. That way, you are protecting them and those around them from potential accidents in the future.