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Game Changers

August 7, 2013 0 Comments

Crane council progresses beyond expectations as Canadian government considers first proposals.

frasercocks_crcFraser Cocks, the chairman of the Canadian Hoisting & Rigging Safety Council (CHRSC), has reminded the crane industry in Canada of the importance of attending this year’s Crane & Rigging Conference (CRC) Canada, which takes place Oct. 22-23 at the Edmonton Marriott at River Cree Resort, Edmonton, Alberta.
Cocks was acting chairman when the CHRSC made its first public appearance at CRC Canada 2012, but the group has since become a government-recognized, independent, industry-represented group, and Cocks has stepped into the role officially. The CHRSC will again sit before the conference as a panel on the second afternoon of the event.

“The crane industry in Canada is experiencing similar problems in all jurisdictions across the country,” says Cocks. “CRC Canada is a great opportunity to meet others with those same concerns. You will have a much larger chance of success if we all pull together rather than tackle these issues on our own.”
Cocks emphasizes to previous and potential attendees that participation in such activities is less time consuming than avoiding them. He explains: “As a council, we’re only tapping into you for what we need. We know we’ve got to have results and outcomes. It’s not about people getting together because they like to come together.” Cocks says the ever-present issue in Canada is a skill shortage. “We need people to do this work, and it’s a struggle finding them,” he says.

Proposals for government

Cocks reveals that the group has already submitted two proposals for government consideration and are awaiting feedback. “We hope to have updates by the time the conference occurs,” he says.

The first proposal is about working towards a common practical assessment across the country. “In other words, to have one toolset,” says Cocks. The second is about building a map so every jurisdiction knows what certification and regulations are applicable. “As people move across the country, we want them to know who the contacts are and the rules of
the game,” says Cocks. “Whether or not we get funding, we’re determined to make these things happen.”
He adds: “Every time we tap into a new area, the message is confirmed: Why haven’t we been doing something sooner? Everywhere we look, people also want rigging information and standards.”
The CHRSC executive committee meets with Cocks once a month. They are: Lorne Kleppe, executive director, Manufacturers Health & Safety Association (MHSA) of Alberta, together with Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA); Dave Earle, Human Resources Services & Government Relations, Construction Labour Relations (CLR) of British
Columbia; Gunnar Mardon, director strategic initiatives, B.C. Association for Crane Safety; Tim Bennett, vice president, Northern Crane Services Group, and chairperson for Occupational Health & Safety Council for the government of Alberta; and Daryl Harvey, senior staff, Health & Safety Training & Implementation, Cenovus Energy Inc.

“We’ve established a cycle,” says Cocks of the committee meetings. “It’s typically a teleconference combined with face to face and up to now we have alternated between Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver and are planning fall, winter, and spring meetings in Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes as well.”
Cocks adds: “The government likes the model because it’s tapping directly into industry. There’s no middle man; we’re the industry group. It makes us more efficient, and you don’t get a muddled message. For example, we’re not looking at an issue and only speaking to one or two people involved.”

Crane community

CRC Canada, now in its third year, will again welcome crane professionals from all the western provinces, eastern Canada, and many from the United States, while a strong contingent from the oil sands in Fort McMurray in particular is anticipated. The two-day conference will address crane and rigging supervisors, facilities managers, and safety personnel. Overhead cranes, critical lifting, rigging, standards, competency, and training will be among key topics.

Headline speakers include Skip Ohman, technical advisor, The Crosby Group; Mike Parnell, president and CEO, Industrial Training International (ITI) Canada ULC; Brett Woodland, vice president of sales, Associated Wire Rope and Rigging Inc.; Peter Cooke, rigging training manager, Columbus McKinnon; Tim Petersen, senior product manager— cranes Canada, Liebherr-Canada Ltd.; Lee Middleton, partner, Fulford Certification; and Fred Wolsey, system engineer, Bruce Power.
Register to attend the 2013 Crane & Rigging Conference Canada at: www.craneandriggingconference.com/crc-canada.

Filed in: Agenda, CRC Canada

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