Certification Program for Drill Rig Operators Announced

"We fully anticipate safety-minded employers, general contractors, and project owners, not to mention insurance companies, will recognize the value of CCO Drill Rig certification in risk mitigation and leverage its power as a third-party independent evaluation tool," said NCCCO Director of Operations Joel Oliva.

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators and the International Association for Foundation Drilling (ADSC) announced they have developed a certification program for operators of drill rig equipment. Foundation drill rigs and anchor/micropile drill rigs represent specialized equipment used in the construction industry for drilling cylindrical holes in the earth, but until now, there has been no independent mechanism for operators to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of this equipment, the two organizations noted.

"The unique challenges and operational practices required by drill rig equipment necessitated new certification exams different from any other CCO program," said NCCCO Director of Operations Joel Oliva. "The new Foundation Drill Rig and Anchor/Micropile Drill Rig Operator certifications address a need identified by the industry for an operator certification specifically designed for operators of these specialized machines."

A task force of subject-matter experts representing operators, users, owners, manufacturers, trainers, and other stakeholders developed the written and practical exams that individuals must pass to become certified. The task force members identified the knowledge areas and tasks necessary for safe drill rig operation and developed examinations that are fair, valid, reliable, and legally defensible, according to NCCCO's announcement.

"ADSC has been delighted to work with NCCCO over the last two years in the development of this program, which will make a major contribution to ensuring drill rig equipment is operated in a safe and professional manner," said ADSC CEO Mike Moore. "By providing the industry with assessments that are specifically focused on the work that operators perform on a daily basis, we will ensure that operators are proficient and knowledgeable and thereby reduce risk and improve safety."

"We fully anticipate safety-minded employers, general contractors, and project owners, not to mention insurance companies, will recognize the value of CCO Drill Rig certification in risk mitigation and leverage its power as a third-party independent evaluation tool," said Oliva. "By involving the entire industry in the program's development, we can ensure that the final product reflects current needs and brings value to the industry as a whole."

Documentation for candidates and test sites preparing for the CCO drill rig operator certification exams is available at nccco.org/DRO; free PDFs of the Drill Rig Operator Candidate Handbook and Test Site Coordinator Handbook can be downloaded from nccco.org/handbooks.

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