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, which was effective January 1, affects all tower crane and mobile cranes with a boom length of at least 25 feet or a rated load capacity of 15,000 pounds 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 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 four-plex, do not require a certified crane operator.

Any person found violating this requirement in Utah will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. The law does not apply to digger derrick trucks, knuckle-boom cranes or crane operations in the petroleum refining industry.

The NCCCO has a Certification 2007 information center on its web site to provide further details of these states' requirements, and to act as a clearing house for information on implementation of the new rules as it becomes available. See www.nccco.org or e-mail NCCCO at twhittington@nccco.org.

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