Crane and Hoist Canada

Safety training always evolving

January 6, 2020  By Judy Mellott-Green

Designing and handling powered lifting equipment has changed radically in the past 10 years, as they have now evolved into intrinsically designed equipment, complete with on board computers, to ensure lifts are performed safely.

Overhead cranes are not considered a trade, therefore the training the operators received years ago, was basically limited to the manufacturer’s instructions for operation of the equipment. There have been significant changes over the past 10 years to improve safety when operating these types of equipment. Industries across Canada got together approximately 15 years ago and formed committees through Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) to develop legislation to improve the safety for operating, inspecting and maintenance of this equipment.

This is about the same time that the “Daily Operator Logbooks” became mandatory, requiring operators to perform preoperational, operational and shut-down, dated and signed off by the operator and supervisor at end of every shift. Over the years the legislated requirements have been revised to meet applicable recognized CSA B167-2016 Overhead Crane standards, as well as other applicable standards.

Overhead crane equipment operation has greatly changed over the past 10 years.

Safety training has evolved so every person who operates this equipment must have an operator safety certificate. This has resulted in a major reduction in incidents resulting in downed equipment, loss of production and injury or fatal accidents. In the past five to 10 years there has also been an increase in women working in this field, operating all types of lifting equipment. I have also noticed when I go on shop tours, I see far more women working in the trades such as welders, electricians, riggers, as well as crane operators. I have seen a lot of changes throughout all the industries I have worked with over the years.

I participated on Alberta Workplace Health & Safety for several years, resulting in publication of two Industry Best Practices. I am an active member on the CSA B167-16 Overhead Crane Standard since it was first developed. I am also the CSA B167-16 Liaison, sitting on the crane standards, giving me an opportunity to participate on ASME committees over the past 12 years. Our company, “ACTi” (All Canadian Training Institute), has been in business for more than 25 years. ACTi provides “Overhead Crane Operator Safety Training Programs” across Canada, as well as the U.S. We have developed and designed several types of safety programs for most industry overhead lifting equipment applications, along with several licencing Train-The-Trainer package programs that are engineer audited, ensuring compliance to the most current national and international standards.

I enjoy what I do and look forward to working longer as there is still so much more to learn.

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