This course is designed to be delivered both in a traditional classroom or virtually online. It is intended to prepare those individuals who work around cranes as Riggers and Signal Persons gain the necessary knowledge to earn a Qualification level of credential currently required to perform these tasks in the construction industry.


It is our opinion that when all those involved around the crane when making the lift, starting with the Owner, Supervisor, Crane Operator, Rigger and Signal Person are all properly trained, a very knowledgeable and cohesive unit that works together will be formed. The result will be job site morale will be high, accidents will be reduced, and lives will be saved. We have provided a manual that is more comprehensive than many other manuals of this type. We have included additional areas not found in other programs. It is our opinion the rigging can be the limiting factor for a lift. In addition, Riggers, Signal Persons and ground support crew are asked to do more than ever before to assist the crane operator. We hope the information in this manual will help meet that target. In addition, move their knowledge to a higher level such as Lift Director.

Our Main Course Objectives

History of Cranes and Rigging

Learn how the cranes have evolved over thousands of years. People have used innovative ways of lifting really heavy objects and bringing them where they are needed, as demonstrated at Stone Hedge, the Pyramids of Giza and countless ancient sites around the world. Learn how the cranes then evolved into the massive machines we use today. See how the accident rates and fatalities increased as the cranes became more sophisticated.

Join us as we look back and enjoy an old Black and White Pictorial Tour of the Great Accomplishments of the past such as the Empire State Building, Golden Gate Bridge and many others. Our tour of the past includes a very special video that contains the Iron Workers Prayer as we pay our respects to those fallen in our industry, such as the Three Iron Workers lost at the Miller Park baseball stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 14, 1999. We ask ourselves why and then as we look forward with the hopes comprehensive training such as ours will help end senseless fatalities in the Crane and Rigging Industries. Our goal is to reduce accidents and save lives, by training everyone involved in the lift from the owner and lift director to the crane operator, supervisor and riggers.

Personal Protection

Every year, despite regulations and published information designed to protect them, workers are still being injured.  These injuries not only inflict short term pain and   suffering but can produce more serious long term effects.  It is the worker’s responsibility to protect themselves against injury or death by being aware of, and using, the procedures and equipment designed to protect them. Rigging and the risks and hazards these operations present require special training and understanding. During this session industry requirements are reviewed and solutions to protect yourself are presented.

Signal Person, Rigger, Crane Operator and Owner Responsibilities

The Rigger:

The rigger selects, configures and assembles the rigging equipment for attachment, support, control and detachment of the load during lifting activities. Riggers set up and repair rigging at manufacturing plants, shipyards, logging yards, construction sites, and film sets. They are responsible for aligning and anchoring the machinery, attaching loads, controlling the movement of heavy equipment, and ensuring the rigging is safe for use. During this session we look at their responsibilities but go a step further to look at the responsibilities of all those involved in the lift including the crane operator, signal person, owner and supervisor. We discuss the division of those responsibilities and the need for a lift director.

Key Responsibilities of a Qualified Signal Person

A qualified signal person is one of the most important members of a crane operator’s team. With their precise communication skills and arsenal of efficient hand and voice signals, these dedicated professionals ensure the safety of not only the crane operator, but everyone else on the job site too. To fully understand the importance of their on-site involvement, we take a look at some of the key details and tasks that every qualified signal person is responsible for.

The Crane Operator

The Operator is responsible for the safe operation of the crane and controls all movements from the hook upward as well as swing and travel motions.  The Operator must be familiar with their equipment and confirm that the configuration of the crane is appropriate for the load(s) to be lifted. They must be aware of the site conditions both above, at, and below the ground, and from which individual they will take directions. We discover and discuss his responsibilities in detail.

The Crane Owner or Crane User

Whether or not the crane owner or users are the same entity, their responsibilities would be essentially the same. They would be required to make sure than the crane being used is in safe operating condition, is in compliance with the crane manufacturer’s requirements and applicable regulations and is being operated, maintained, assembled and disassembled and supported by only “QUALIFIED” persons. We look into the responsibilities of the Owner.

The Site Supervisor and Lift Director

The Site Supervisor and the Lift Director may also be the same person, in which case the responsibilities would be one in the same. However some lifts may require a dedicated lift director.  Essentially, the Supervisor or Lift Director must meet the requirements of a “QUALIFIED” person and would be responsible for all site preparation and lift procedures.  Under the supervision of the Lift Director, the signaling and rigging personnel are responsible for the operation from the bowl of the hook downward including verification of the load weight, attachment of the load to the hook, stability of the load, requirements for tag lines and load pick-up and set down procedures.  The Supervisor or Lift Director must be aware of, and operations if alerted to an unsafe condition affecting those operations. The responsibilities of both the Supervisor and the Lift Director are discussed.

Crane Laws & Regulations

Federal Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA), as well as State and local regulations for the construction industry, particularly those that involve craning equipment, are reviewed during this session. ASME Industry safety standards and their recommendations are explored. Class participants also discuss the division of responsibilities between the contractor, the operator and other on-site personnel and how to operate the equipment within the manufacturer’s guidelines. Students learn the various OSHA regulations and ASME safety standards that are associated with Cranes and rigging in the construction industry. Discussion includes how the terms “shall and should” appear in these documents. The titles “Quality Person and Appointed Person” are reviewed and assessed. Sample test questions are given.

Definitions Used in Craning and Rigging

A review of the terms and definitions used in the Crane and rigging industries are explored. Several ASME safety standards that pertain to these industries are introduced. Those terms used in load chart and load weight calculations as well as sling angles are reinforced in preparation of further instruction.

Setting Up Cranes

The main points necessary for the proper setting up of rubber tired and crawler mounted cranes are reviewed. Riggers as well as Signal Persons often assist the Crane Operator with these procedures. The proper extension of stabilizers and outriggers, ensuring that the crane is working from a firm level supporting surface and has adequate swing clearance to safely perform the work are among the many of the points discussed. Sample test questions are administered at the conclusion of this session.

Mobile Crane Load Charts

The mysterious load chart always seems to be the point of intimidation and sometimes confusion to the crane operator as well as the entire crew. During this session that problem will be wiped away forever. Through classroom lecture and discussion, followed by student hands-on exercises participants quickly learn how to interpret all the different load charts manufacturers are using today. Our goal is everyone associated with the crane has at the very least a basic knowledge of the load chart. Students learn the part of the load chart based on structural integrity of the machine as well as the part of the chart based on stability limitations. Candidates practice multiple configurations of the crane and how it effects the load charts.

Working Around High Voltage and What to do When the Thunder Rolls and the Lightning Strikes

In this session, participants quickly learn what takes place when contact is made with high voltage apparatus. Facts are presented to show how the current flows through the machine and radiates through the ground, sometimes causing injury or death to persons around the crane. Absolute “Limits of Approach” and emergency procedures to be followed if contact is made are also studied in detail.

Also discussed are rules and procedures when “THE THUNDER ROLLS AND THE LIGHTNING STRIKES”! Information is provided to give the Crane Operator and the entire crew better information to make a good decision if lightning is within striking distance and if work should stop, and then again when it is safe for work to resume. Sample test questions are administered following these two important topics.

Wire Rope

Various types of wire rope used in the craning industry for both hoisting and rigging applications are dealt with in this presentation. Procedures for identifying, applying and maintaining the rigging apparatus are presented, as well as inspection techniques and removal from service criteria.


The importance of clear and concise communication between the crane operator, signal person and rigger to ensure the safety of the lift are discussed. Standard international hand signals are introduced. The use of radio contact is also explored. Sample hand signals are demonstrated and test questions administered.

Personnel Lifting Systems

When lifting people with a Mobile Crane Personnel Lifting System, very serious considerations must be made. Strict inspection procedures, and pre-lift rules must be followed. The lift must be pre-planned and then carried out with great care. In this session, students review and discuss those rules and procedures

Sling Selection & Application

During this presentation and in-class exercises, participants learn how to select, inspect and apply various types of slings and determine the safe working load that can be applied to them. The effect that the sling’s angle to the load has on its rated capacity is discussed, and calculations are made to determine actual Safe Working Loads. Removal criteria and other important information is presented for synthetic, wire rope, chain and mesh slings.

Crane Hook Inspection

Several considerations that apply to hooks and observances of them are discussed. Inspection criteria and removal from service are reviewed in detail. Many types of hooks are used in the crane and rigging industries, some of which can be used for hoisting while other are not. A very close and thorough review of all of them is made followed by a complete sample written examination.

Rigging Hardware

This session deals with various types of rigging hardware commonly used in the craning and rigging industries. Initiate inspection procedures, application and removal from service criteria are presented through hands on demonstrations.

A complete look titled “Everything You Need to Know” is provided on each piece of hardware most often used in rigging applications today, including hooks, shackles, eye bolts, turn buckles, links, rings, thimbles and wire rope clips. We leave no stone unturned in this section which includes sample test questions to boot!

Making the Lift

All loads must be properly rigged to prevent dislodgement of any part. Suspended loads should be securely slung and properly balanced before they are set I motion.

Students learn the procedures and precautions that must be observed whenever loads are to be handled in detail. Criteria from ASME Safety Standards is introduced on when to develop an Engineered Critical Lift Plan. Students discuss and then set parameters for several operations that would be considered to meet critical lift criteria. Sample test questions are administered.

Equalizer & Spreader Beams

The difference between equalizer and spreader beams, and their particular applications are studied. With equalizer beams the class participants learn, through practical exercises and lift simulation, how the load is proportionately shared between the cranes that are making the lift and how these proportions can be altered to suit the crane capacities by adjusting the location of the load on the beam by just a few inches.

Determining Load’s Center of Gravity

This segment emphasizes the importance of knowing the location of the load’s center of gravity to assist in the selection of the proper rigging necessary to produce a “stable” load when lifted. And its importance to recognize what happens to the center of gravity of a load once the load is lifted into the air. Locating the center of gravity under the crane hook and boom deflection are part of the points of discussion.

Boom Assembly & Disassembly Responsibilities

Every year a high number of serious injuries take place in the crane industry when workers are installing or dismantling lattice boom sections in cranes. This session covers the responsibilities of the employer and all those included in this process. In addition to the new requirement that the work must be directed by an Assembly and Disassembly Director, their responsibilities and the hazards of this type of operation is explored. The effect of wind speed and weather are firmly presented. Students complete a written examination at the end of this session.

Multiple Crane Lifts

The extra precautions, such as avoiding shock and side loading of the booms when the use of multiple cranes is necessary to make a single lift are studied. As part of the pre-lift planning, the class discovers through practical exercises how to determine what the actual load is on each of the cranes throughout the lift process. The class also learns how the load sharing on the cranes can be altered by manipulating the lift points. The role between the crane operator, lift director, riggers and signal person is discussed. Through the study of the fundamentals of basic leverage principles, class participants discover how these principles help to explain the proportionate sharing of loads between multiple cranes involved in a single lift. Load lift calculations for tipping up or laying down of loads is also practiced. A series of multiple choice questions are administered following this session.

Hoists & Pullers

Hand operated hoists have many applications in rigging work. Typical applications include hoisting pipe or duct into position for welding or bolting, moving machinery, and lifting engines or equipment during repairs. These devices are simple to operate but misuse can result in sudden failure, property damage and serious injury. The advantages of using chain hoists and come-a-long pullers are reviewed as well as their limitations and inspection criteria.

Effects of Sling Angles

The effect that the sling’s angle to the load has on its rated capacity is discussed and calculations made to determine actual safe working loads. The first and most important step in any rigging operation is the determination of the weight of the load. Students learn and discuss those steps. This segment emphasizes the importance of knowing the location of the load’s center of gravity to assist in the selection of the proper rigging necessary to produce a “stable” load when lifted. It is important to recognize what happens to the center of gravity of a load once the load is lifted into the air.

This session deals with various types of rigging hardware commonly used in the craning industry. Identification, inspection procedures, application and removal from service criteria are presented through classroom and hand-on demonstrations.

Certification of Qualification & Picture Card

All successful graduates of our Signal Person and Rigger Qualification program will receive a wall certificate suitable for framing. Also a Pictured Qualification Card that cites the proper OSHA regulations and ASME Safety Standards on the front of the card and all the training objectives completed on the back. Your satisfaction of our program is guaranteed!

NCCCO has no obligations to this guarantee