(1) (a) A person seeking certification as a blaster shall submit to the department an application on a form provided by the department. The applicant shall include a verifiable statement that he has successfully completed a training course, provided by the department, the operator, or other person, meeting the requirements of ARM 17.24.1262(1) and incorporating the training manual prepared by the department.
(b) The department shall make available to the public, upon request and payment of a reasonable fee, a copy of the training manual. The training manual must be updated as necessary.
(2) The department shall issue a blaster certification to each applicant who:
(a) has two years field experience in blasting;
(b) has successfully completed a 24-hour blaster training course meeting the requirements of ARM 17.24.1262; and
(c) achieves a grade of 80% or higher on an examination administered by the department. The examination must, at a minimum, reflect the training manual prepared by the department and examine in the topics set forth in ARM 17.24.1262. The examination must also incorporate an equally weighted section that covers practical field experience on blasting procedures and occurrences. An applicant who fails may retake the examination. If the applicant fails the examination a second time, he shall successfully complete a blaster training course again and reapply for certification before retaking the examination.
(3) Blaster certifications are nontransferable.
(4) A certification shall expire three years after issuance. The department shall recertify if the blaster:
(a) submits to the department, at least 60 days prior to the expiration of his certification, an application for recertification on a form provided by the department;
(b) has documented successful completion of 16 hours of refresher training meeting the requirements of ARM 17.24.1262 during the certification period; and
(c) has conducted or directed blasting operations within the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for recertification or receives a grade of 80% or better on a recertification examination. The only new developments that the department may include in the recertification examination are those that have been included in the updates to the training manual. The applicant for recertification may take the examination twice.
(5) The department shall certify any person who has a current state or federal blaster certificate under any program approved by the Federal Coal Regulatory Authority under 30 CFR Part 850 and can demonstrate that he or she has met requirements equivalent to those in (1) and (2) . The period of the department's certification must be coextensive with the period of certification under the other program but may not exceed three years.