When August 20—22, 2012
Where Terex Utilities, Watertown, SD
Why did NCCCO develop this new Digger Derrick Operator certification program?
As other National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) certified crane operator programs have gained momentum and acceptance, the need became apparent for a distinct program addressing digger derricks' unique applications. The NCCCO worked with key digger derrick manufacturers, operators, and industry experts to develop this program. The resulting Digger Derrick Operator (DDO) certification program promises to bring the same safety, insurance, and risk reduction benefits that NCCCO's other certification programs have demonstrably delivered since 1996.
How does operator certification improve safety?
Operator certification has been shown to save lives through reduced accidents. Ongoing studies in locations where operator training and certification are required show a significant decrease in the accident and death rate among certified operators. Digger derricks are unique pieces of equipment with their own capabilities and risks, so a dedicated operator certification program was deemed appropriate by digger derrick manufacturers, owners, and operators.
Does everyone need to be certified?
NCCCO certification is a nationally recognized way of training equipment operators so they are qualified to do the jobs they are assigned; that is why so many employers, federal agencies, states, labor unions, industry organizations, and insurance firms have come to recognize or require NCCCO certification. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new rule covering Cranes and Der-ricks in Construction (29 CFR 1926 Subpart CC) now requires operators to be certified to operate digger derricks used in certain construction applications. While digger derricks used in electrical utility applications are excluded from the new rules, many stakeholders still plan to certify their operators to achieve the highest standards of digger derrick operator safety.
What types of tests are there?
The Digger Derrick Task Force designed a testing program consisting of a multiple-choice written examination and a practical examination that tests operators' real-world skills using these unique multifunction machines.
Who is on the Digger Derrick Task Force?
The NCCCO and the major manufacturers of digger derricks-Altec and Terex Utilities-as well as subject matter experts from the utility user community cooperatively developed this program for opera-tors of truck-mounted digger derricks. Once completed, the program will be managed on an ongoing basis by NCCCO's Digger Derrick Exam Management Committee.
How is the new program being developed?
Industry support, subject matter expertise, and psychometric guidance were all key in developing this new program. This multi-faceted approach ensures that the tests are (and remain) fair, valid, and reliable.
What will the tests cover?
The five content domains covered by the tests are: (1) site and setup, (2) pre-operation, (3) operation, (4) technical knowledge, and (5) using manufacturers' load charts.
Who decided what is tested on the exams?
Subject matter experts identified the necessary knowledge and skills for each activity and then grouped them into the five content areas. All the knowledge areas covered were identified by the task force as being critical to operating digger derricks safely.
Who is providing test development expertise?
The Digger Derrick Task Force was guided by psychometric consultants from International Assessment Institute (IAI), the testing services company that has provided exam development and admin-istration services to the NCCCO since 1999. As with its existing programs, the NCCCO conducted a professional job task analysis to serve as the foundation for exam development.
Is training required?
Because of the need to provide a completely independent, third-party certification process, NCCCO does not offer training. However, the NCCCO promotes the use of professionally developed training and strongly encourages all candidates to enroll in suitable classes before applying to take the exams.
Will the new program be accredited?
Once completed, the NCCCO will seek accreditation for the Digger Derrick Operator program, as it has for its other certification programs. Accreditation through a rigorous process of independent au-dit by a personnel certification accreditation body such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) indicates that these nationally recognized and administered programs deliver what they promise.
Who is the NCCCO?
The NCCCO is a nonprofit industry organization formed in 1995 to develop effective performance standards for safe crane operations to assist all segments of construction and general industry. NCCCO programs are unique in that they are: third-party; independent of training; developed and supported by industry; a joint labor/management initiative; psychometrically sound; validated through peer review; and administered on a standardized, secure, nationwide basis. Since NCCCO began testing in April 1996, more than 650,000 written and practical exams have been administered to more than 135,000 crane operators in all 50 states. More than three-fourths of the states that have requirements for crane operators require or recognize NCCCO certification.
How do I find out more?
Once program development is completed, certification information-including candidate handbooks, applications, and references-will be available from NCCCO's website at www.nccco.org.