Contract Language, Crane & Rigging, Insurance, Risk Management

Ready to Help Insureds Get (And Stay On) the Same Page

NBIS Welcomes New AVP of Risk Management Derek Sather

At the start of this year, NBIS welcomed the newest member of its executive team—Assistant Vice President of Risk Management Derek Sather. Derek comes to NBIS with nearly 25 years of experience in the crane industry and is excited to make an impact on an already-robust team of risk management experts. 

Derek’s career in the crane and rigging industry began in 1996 when he completed a DOL Operating Engineer Apprenticeship. Derek started out first as a crane operator and is certified to operate mobile, tower, and overhead cranes. His experience includes over two decades of NCCCO certification, and he is a certified crane operator, lift director, crane inspector, master crane & rigging instructor and holds active status with Michigan Task Force 1 as a heavy rigging specialist. 

“I helped run a crane rental company for several years. I did sales and lift planning. Then, my local union – the International Union of Operating Engineers – asked me to come in as an instructor.”

It’s often said that the best way to ensure you’ve learned something is to try teaching it. Derek had plenty of opportunities to test this theory and enjoyed teaching immensely. 

“I truly feel that my experience is as deep as it is because I’ve spent so much time instructing, leading trainings, and issuing certification exams. And I truly found instructing very rewarding,” he said. 

This wide variety of crane and rigging knowledge translates to a perspective on crane-related risk management that is unmatched in its breadth and depth. 

“I’m honestly really excited to join such an experienced team of heavy construction insurance professionals. At the end of the day, this is an extremely complex and highly nuanced industry. NBIS sits head and shoulders above the rest because the people holding the pen have done every job in the crane industry there is. We can write good contracts because we know what often gets overlooked.” 

When asked about what’s most important for companies to be focused on, Derek didn’t hesitate to speak to operator evaluation requirements. Regulations and standards are undergoing changes and are murky in the meantime, so keeping a watchful on where your company stands in their qualification status is key.

“Ensure your employees are qualified in their respective roles. My personal opinion is that companies are still getting up to speed with the new OSHA operator evaluation requirements. I’ve fielded many questions on this, and it seems that everyone is not on the same page,” Derek said.

“Some companies are just creating forms and stating that they’ve already conducted the evaluations. Some companies have stated (mostly incorrectly) that anyone can perform these evaluations regardless of their knowledge or background in crane operations. Some companies haven’t done anything yet because the job in question isn’t that long, and they don’t have time.”

Understanding the complexities of Department of Labor rules and standards is a necessity for helping NBIS insureds manage their risk. Derek is certainly up to the task on this and other crucial elements of a crane and rigging operation. The team is excited to work with him on risk solutions for NBIS insureds.