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Local 115 union responds to B.C. crane incidents with urgent safety recommendations

February 5, 2024  By CHC Staff

SURREY, B.C. – The Local 115 union, which represents hundreds of crane operators across B.C., has responded to a crane incident that occurred last week in Surrey, B.C. with a call for more robust and strict regulations and training regarding crane safety.

“We don’t know the exact cause of these incidents, but we do know in an industry with no real regulation, mandatory training or contractor licensing, these incidents keep happening.  We’re glad no one was seriously hurt or killed. Today was a disruption; tomorrow it could be deadly,” said Local 115’s business manager, Brian Cochrane.

In response, the union has released a series of immediate and urgent recommendations to the province’s government and heavy lifting industry. These include the recognition of tower crane operation and rigging as a compulsory trade with required training and certification across the province, and mandatory training standards and licensing of contractors working in the assembly, climbing, repositioning and disassembly of tower cranes.

The incident in Surrey followed another occurrence just days before, where a portion of the Lougheed Highway in Burnaby was forced to close following an on-site crane collapse.

“Two incidents in four days is a clear demonstration that we need stronger regulations in our industry,” said Josh Towsley, Local 115’s assistant business manager. “These two incidents should be a wake-up call for the industry and government. The B.C. Liberals tried to deregulate the industry a long time ago, and despite our best efforts to make improvements to safety, the legislation does not have enough teeth.”

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