Crane and Hoist Canada

Editorial Features Opinion
Editorial: No water cooler conversation in ‘new normal’

June 19, 2020  By Jay Koblun

Illustration by Julie-Ann Koblun

Alot of concerns whether the crane industry could stay strong during and after COVID-19 eased with the announcement that crane work was deemed an essential service.

Construction moved forward; manufacturers could manufacture; rental companies could rent, and business carried on as “usual.”

With experts saying a second-wave of coronavirus is inevitable, the biggest challenge facing the industry right now is, “what is this new usual?” What sort of things will be forever different and how can associations and companies find ways to support one another?

I spoke with Claire Belanger-Parker from the Crane Rental Association of Canada (CRAC) on how she says the industry is responding and banding together during this crisis. Even though business carried on as usual, she said there are Canadian crane companies feeling the effects of the pandemic in ways we don’t think of right away. Like our mental health.


It may sound silly but conversations around the water cooler are a vital part of office and jobsite culture. Clock in for the day, plan your schedule, interact with your friends and colleagues while you mentally prepare yourself for the day. Water cooler talk encourages employees to get to know each other and connect on a personal level while encouraging a positive work atmosphere that builds relationships and increases communication.

A lot of individuals I’ve spoken with are missing the networking. Networking is such a large part of the heavy lifting industry and no amount of Zoom calls can make up for a face-to-face conversation at a conference or training seminar. But the current situation calls for it and now everyone must adjust. Claire talks about the grief and loss that some people in the industry are facing; not just financial loss but the loss of camaraderie in the workplace too. And that’s a real concern as this pandemic continues to play out into the summer and possibly fall.

In this issue CRAC welcomes Gijs (Gus) Verdeijen into the leadership role as Chairman for 2020-2021, completing his last year of his second three-year term on the Board.

Also, is a second round of CONEXPO/CON-AGG news and products showcased at the 2020 show, updates on COVID-19, a lot of industry appointments and new hires like Cropac Equipment welcoming Dale Johnson aboard, awards, hoists, deliveries and more.

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