Utah requiring operator certification

24 April 2008

Utah has joined the growing list of states requiring crane operators to be certified. Effective July 1, 2007, any crane operator operating a crane on a commercial construction project must be certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

Certification from other organizations may be permitted so long as they are considered to be equivalent to CCO certification, meet the requirements of the ASME B 30.5 mobile crane standard, and are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Governor Huntsman signed the bill March 13, 2006. Anyone found violating this requirement will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

For the purposes of this law, a crane is defined as a power-operated hoisting machine used in construction, demolition, or excavation work that has a power-operated winch, load-line, and a boom that moves laterally by the rotation of the machine on a carrier.

It does not include forklifts, digger derrick trucks, aircraft bucket trucks, or knuckle booms (articulating boom cranes). Also exempt from the requirement are any cranes engaged in operations related to petroleum refining.

John Kennedy, NCCCO president and sales director at Manitowoc Crane Group said that there were now 15 states that either required crane operators to be certified, or were in the process of establishing photograph such rules.

“Fully two-thirds of the states that mandate crane operator certification will either require or recognize CCO certification,” Kennedy said. “Despite efforts by Federal OSHA to establish a national requirement, there is no sign at state-level of any cooling of enthusiasm for valid and reliable crane operator certification.”

However, Kennedy cautioned that certification had to meet national consensus standards and be accredited by an appropriate accrediting body. “Only in this way can the professional quality of such programs be ensured,” he said.

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