Crane safety gets major upgrade in British Columbia
On April 8th, 2009 the first three “CraneSafe Certifications” in British Columbia (BC) were awarded to Eagle West Crane Inc. employees. These were the first three CraneSafe Certifications publically awarded out of the 14,000 applications for CraneSafe Certification made to the British Columbia Association for Crane Safety (BCACS).
The CraneSafe Certification program developed in partnership with the BC Government, Worksafe BC and the BC crane industry and is one of the most comprehensive crane safety certification programs in North America.
The awarding of these CraneSafe Certifications represent the culmination of over four years of planning and program development by the BCACS and mark a milestone in safety standards within the BC crane and construction industries.
The British Columbia (BC) government working hand in hand with the BC crane industry created the BC Association for Crane Safety (BCACS). Since November 2005 the BCACS has been developing a series of comprehensive crane operator training and certification programs and Eagle West Crane Inc. has been there at every turn in a leadership and advisory capacity.
Jim Barkman, Eagle West’s President and CEO has served in the executive group as the boards Vice Chair along with Ryan Burton representing Eagle West in both the tower crane and self erecting crane industry groups while Roy Popma represented Eagle West in both the mobile crane and boom truck industry groups. Further Brad Paddock and Rob Falk both Fleet Supervisors at Eagle West attended the “Subject Matter Expert” forums to lend their expertise to the development of the training program criteria.
Overall the CraneSafe Certification programs are broken out into three distinct industry sectors for training and certification:
- Tower & Self Erecting Cranes
- Boom Trucks
- Mobile Cranes
At this programs inception crane industry and government stakeholders came together to form a working group from there sub-groups were formed with each sub-group representing one of the three distinct crane industry sectors; Tower and Self-Erect cranes, Boom Trucks and Mobile cranes.
The key goal of these workshops was to develop a crane operator training and certification system that makes sense and has value for all stakeholder groups and which is meaningful, enforceable and accessible.
While each crane industry sector is unique and needs unique training and certification the BCACS program also ensured that the core of all programs created works for everyone and is built on a set of common standards which include:
- Creating standards and competencies according to industry, site and usage, and equipment type;
- Including incumbent crane operators as well as new entrants;
- Supporting the development of appropriate WorkSafe BC regulations and guidelines for the industry;
- Creating a system to help crane operators achievement and maintain competency;
- Developing training and testing materials;
- Making the industry attractive to talented potential new entrants.
Overall the program has more than meet its goals and now that the training and certification programs are finalized and the first crane operators certified the process of training and certifying all other applicants can proceed.