Crane Safety: Certified vs. Qualified Personnel


Often contractors get confused between “certified” and “qualified” personnel when hiring crane operators or riggers for their organization. They instantly assume that if a candidate is certified, they automatically qualify for the job.


OSHA does very little to help contractors sort this confusion, defining a qualified person as an individual who:

  • possesses a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or

  • can successfully demonstrate the ability to solve problems related to rigging and/or lifting loads by the virtue of their extensive knowledge, experience or training

While certification does translate to qualification in most other fields, when it comes to crane operations, this doesn’t apply as such.  


Every Crane Job is Different

Each load has unique properties. These properties can range from simple to complex. Likewise, each lift is different from the other. A load being lifted with a small crane with a short boom will require a different level of skill than a load being lifted with a larger crane with a long telescoping boom.


With so many variables on the plate, it is impractical to expect an operator or rigger to be qualified to do every type of job.  


A Crane Job Gone Wrong

Many crane accidents have happened with knowledgeable “certified” operators who got into a job that was over their head or just had a momentary lapse of caution.  At Crane Warning Systems Atlanta we often speak to customers shopping for crane load indicator system after a near miss or recent accident on a “job gone wrong.” Equipping your cranes with the latest crane indicators will aide your crane operators in doing a better and safer job.  And the time to do that is before the job, not after.  

The Takeaway

So even though certification is an important requirement in modern-day crane works, it does not translate into “sure” ability.

In the end, when hiring a crane operator or rigger, you have to be the judge and ensure that the candidate is not only certified but also qualified for the type of job that you have for them.  

That’s it from us for today; we hope you found the read informative and helpful.

For further Information: Crane Safe Load Monitoring

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