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2007

Operator Certification: This Year's Hot Topic

January 2007 - Are you ready to take a New Year’s Quiz?  What do Nevada, Minnesota and Utah all have in common?  Answer: They will all make crane operator certification mandatory this year. 

The certification program offered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) meets the different requirements for all three states.

Nevada’s new requirement, effective January 1, affects all tower crane and mobile crane operators with a boom length of at least 25 ft. or a rated load capacity of 15,000 lbs or more.  Crane operator trainees holding a provisional certificate may operate a crane only under the direct supervision of a certified crane operator.  Utility companies and companies doing utility work are exempt from the regulations.

On July 1, Minnesota’s new law will take effect requiring certification from a nationally recognized and accredited program, such as the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  All mobile crane operators on a construction site operating a crane with a capacity of 5 tons or more will be required to have certification.  Once certified, the operator must recertify every five (5) years.  There is also a provision in the regulation allowing trainees to operate a crane under the direct supervision of a certified operator.  Some exemptions apply, such as railroads, public utilities, mines, agriculture, military personnel and those operating a crane on their own property for personal use.

Also as of July 1, all mobile crane operators in Utah must be certified for excavation, demolition work, or construction of commercial construction projects and residential projects of greater than two stories above ground.  Certification must be from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) or an equivalent organization accredited by NCCA.  Crane operations for single family detached housing and multi-family housing up to and including a fourplex do not require a certified crane operator.

Any person found violating this requirement in Utah will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.  While there are no exemptions for crane size in the state, the law does not apply to digger derrick trucks, knuckleboom cranes or crane operations in petroleum refining industry.

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) has created a Certification 2007 information center on its web site to provide further details of these states’ requirements, and to act as a clearinghouse for information on implementation of the new rules as it becomes available.  Go to www.nccco.org  and follow the links, or email NCCCO at twhittington@nccco.org