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Construction Safety Specialists, Inc. Conducts Mobile Elevating Work Platforms Certified Operator Training Classes in Des Moines

by: Jessica Hoover
Brandon Black teaches in the classroom.
Brandon Black teaches in the classroom.
CSSI Director of Operations and Facilitator Joe Melton and CSSI Instructor Brandon Black
CSSI Director of Operations and Facilitator Joe Melton and CSSI Instructor Brandon Black
One of the students operates the Manitou ATJ46+ Articulating Boom Lift.
One of the students operates the Manitou ATJ46+ Articulating Boom Lift.
Students learn how to operate a JLG 1930ES Scissor Lift Aerial Work Platform.
Students learn how to operate a JLG 1930ES Scissor Lift Aerial Work Platform.
The Construction Safety Specialists, Inc. (CSSI) Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) Certified Operator Training is designed as part of a comprehensive training program that includes classroom (theory) and practical (hands-on) training and evaluation and is one of the most detailed and accurate equipment operator trainings available. The CSSI course utilizes the IVES training curriculum and provides a hands-on learning atmosphere to enhance the knowledge retention and attendee experience for those seeking high-level competency.

CSSI is a certified training instructor, having earned the training credential through IVES Training Group. IVES is North America’s leader in powered industrial equipment training systems. Since 1981, IVES has trained tens of thousands of trainers representing all walks of business and industry, who in turn, have utilized the IVES Training System to train hundreds of thousands of operators worldwide on powered industrial equipment.

Safety Training for Higher Operator Knowledge and Competence
A CSSI training class was recently held in Des Moines, Iowa, led by CSSI Instructor Brandon Black and CSSI Director of Operations and Facilitator Joe Melton.

“As a safety service, CSSI uniquely provides advocacy, education, and training,” Melton said. “Those are our three main components for existing. We strive to advocate for common-sense safety measures and influence through collaborative safety programs, all while also providing training and education to the construction industry. At this training class, we’re knocking out two of the three: training and education.”

During day one of the training, all attendees participated in the classroom instruction where a hands-on 100-page workbook was completed in addition to a physical equipment pre-operation inspection, interactive workshop with CSSI’s IVES-certified equipment instructor, and finally, a written competency exam.

During day two, each attendee was given a hands-on operational experience with each piece of equipment in a small group setting. These micro sessions allowed attendees one-on-one instruction and small group coaching in two-hour blocks where attendees performed their driving competency verification for each piece of equipment.

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Before becoming a certified IVES instructor, Black worked out in the field as a carpenter. He said that he has personally seen safety hazards take place on the jobsite, some resulting in accidents.

“Since I’ve been in the safety world, I’ve had to investigate accidents and be involved in them,” Black said. “At a personal level, it really tugs on your heart strings. I try to get ahead of the game – especially for the younger workers that are just getting into the trades and don’t have a lot of experience – and teach them the right and the safe way to do it to start with so they don’t get any of the bad habits. I can leave somebody with a better education and a safer workplace, not just for themselves, but for all the other tradespeople that they would be working around. It’s not always something that you do that could cause harm to yourself, you could do something that could cause harm to somebody else. It affects anybody in the industry.”

The primary objective of this MEWPs operator training program was to provide trainees with the knowledge and skill required to demonstrate safe, competent operation of the equipment addressed, in order to reach the final objective of qualification as a MEWP operator.

“Our goal is that all these individuals come out with higher competence and knowledge as an operator,” Melton said. “We have some seasoned vets here who have been operating equipment for over 20 years. It’s kind of going through the motions for them, and they’re learning some stuff. The training also gives confidence out there to subcontractors, CMs, other general contractors, and anyone who’s hiring, when you hire someone who has their MEWP IVES certified card, you have a certain level of confidence that they’re a competent operator.”

Training Equipment Donated by Star Equipment
Star Equipment, Ltd. provided the equipment to be used during the session. One of the pieces of equipment was a Manitou ATJ46+ Articulating Boom Lift and the other was a JLG 1930ES Scissor Lift Aerial Work Platform.

“What Joe and Brandon are doing with these training programs is great for the future of the construction industry and we are always willing to help by providing equipment or other support for these types of programs,” said Kevin Arens, Marketing Coordinator at Star Equipment. “Not only is it getting the younger generation involved and interested in our industry, but it also helps them become safe, competent operators which gives them an edge over other applicants.”

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“We would like to thank Star Equipment, Ltd. for their support of this MEWPs Operator Training program,” Melton said. “Without their generous contribution of equipment, this program would not be possible.”

Founded in 1968 and family owned and operated, Star Equipment specializes in light to general construction equipment with four Iowa locations in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Ames, in addition to Des Moines.

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