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New chairman for NCCCO Crane Type Advisory Group

The NCCCO Foundation has appointed Fred Simmons as chairman of the Crane Type Advisory Group (CTAG) following the retirement of Dave Ritchie.

NCCCO Foundation president, Garry Higdem said: “Dave leaves behind an outstanding legacy for which we are all enormously grateful. “And we are equally confident that Fred will continue that legacy for the betterment of industry and all those whose work brings them into contact with cranes and rigging.”
Since it was established five years ago the advisory group has made more than 30 determinations as to the ‘most similar’ certification applicable to operators of types of cranes for which no specific accredited operator certification is currently available.

“With the recent publication of OSHA’s revised Compliance Directive that includes specific guidance to compliance officers as to how to implement federal crane operator qualifications, we anticipate increased requests from employers as to which certification is the most appropriate,” says Higdem. “And we are confident that the CTAG will be able to provide that guidance, given the unrivalled breadth and depth of the experience of the experts who serve on the committee,”

Those interested in seeking a determination as to the most similar certification for a crane for which no specific programme exists can email the CTAG committee at [email protected].

OSHA’s Final Rule on crane operator qualifications requires crane operators to be certified [29 CFR 1926.1427(c)(2)]. However, in those cases where no accredited certification examinations for a particular type of equipment exist, OSHA states that “an operator will be deemed to have complied with the certification requirements of this section if the operator has been certified for the type that is most similar to that equipment and for which a certification examination is available.” [1427(d)(2)].

Fred Simmons is inspection and training manager with Foley Material Handling of Ashland, Virginia. He has over 40 years’ experience as a crane inspector, service manager and instructor in a wide range of industries including power stations (nuclear, fossil and water), railroads, maritime cargo handling and shipbuilding as well as manufacturing.
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Fred Simmons

He is approved by, and has signatory authority from, the U.S. Department of Labor to inspect and certify shore based material handling equipment and performs inspections on all types of material handling devices. He manages inspection, service and training personnel on daily job tasks and assignments and is responsible for developing and presenting all Foley student training materials.
Simmons is also an active member of the Crane Certification Association of America (CCAA), serves on the Service and Safety Committee of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), and is an NCCCO commissioner. He is also a member of two NCCCO Exam Management Committees: for Crane Inspectors, and Overhead Crane Operators which he also chairs.

Dave Ritchie was the inaugural chairman of the Crane Type Advisory Group, having served in that capacity since 2017 when it was established. He has more than 50 years of construction experience, including 17 as a crane operator, and was a member of the Cranes and Derricks Advisory Committee which re-wrote the OSHA crane standard in 2003/2004.
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Dave Ritchie

He has been a member of several ASME and NCCCO committees and has authored numerous technical articles and authoritative crane and rigging training materials including the 40 hour instructor based course Professional Crane Operator for St. Paul Travelers which was later adopted by AGC of America, Planning and Safely Performing Rigging Jobs, and the interactive training course, Crane Signalling.