Crane operators in British Columbia began assessments in December to comply with the province’s new crane operator certification program requirements. As of this month, more than 12,000 operators have registered for assessment, according to Fraser Cocks, executive director of the BC Association for Crane Safety (BCACS).
WorkSafeBC, the provincial regulatory authority with respect to health and safety in the region, required crane operators to register for assessment by July 1, 2007. Under the regulation, operators of boom, tower and mobile cranes in British Columbia must hold a certification proving competency. Until this regulation, there was no common standard on which to base a decision about which piece of equipment an operator was qualified to use. The BCACS has worked with WorkSafeBC and the ITA (Industry Training Authority) to develop the operator qualification program.
Cocks said the BCACS has assessors in place and is setting appointments for assessment of all registered operators. Letters are being sent out in phases to begin the communication process with the operators. These letters are being sent out in the order by which they came in for registration. This phased approach is being used to spread the assessment workload over a two-year period. “The management and quality of the assessment process is very important,” Cocks said. “Our goal is to service all registered operators in a timely and efficient manner once contact has been established.”
BCACS has defined the standards and the assessment criteria. The team of assessors will go to jobsites and walk crane operators through a typical lifting task. The assessment will validate that the operator understands how to use the load chart, knows how to rig and how to make a lift.
Certification information can be found at www.bcacs.ca. Click on the “Certification” link for more details.