Digger Misner, owner and director of Capital Cranes, welcomed Brandon Hitch, CEO of The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA); Patrick Cran, CICA’s CrewSafe and CraneSafe technical advisor; David Denney, federal safety commissioner; and Rachel Thomas, OFSC director of intelligence, systems and engagement to his new yard.
Misner had set up a crane in his new yard in Canberra and built an obstacle course designed to show the value of the CrewSafe program.
Misner explains the background to CrewSafe and why he was one of the first crane businesses to adopt the program.
“I first heard about the CrewSafe program during the CICA Conference and Exhibition held in Adelaide in 2017 and I got onboard straight away. I immediately liked the CrewSafe concept, as the Verification of Competency was never recognised as a nationally-accepted standard,” he said.
“It varied from state to state. Tier One builders had their own requirements, mines had certain verification competency criteria, and I know of a business that asked for determination of competency, which illustrated the lack of a nationally-coordinated approach to the subject.
“Brandon called and said he and Pat were going to be in Canberra and that CICA was looking to have CrewSafe adopted as a nationally-recognised competency-based assessment. He said they were engaging with the Federal Safety Commission and needed a crane in a yard to demonstrate CrewSafe. Of course, I said I would help.”
With the crane and obstacle course ready for the demonstration, Misner was forthright with his support for the CrewSafe and CraneSafe programs.
“I spoke to David and Rachel and explained why I was quick to adopt the programs and how successful they have been for mine, and for many other, crane businesses. We had one of our operators there for the demonstration and they were able to hear from him why CrewSafe is a great idea. I reckon if the operators think it is a good idea that is a fair testimony.
“Patrick and Brandon were explaining the app and CrewSafe system, and my crane and operator were then able to demonstrate how this translates to the operation of a crane.
“David and Rachel were terrific. They were very engaged throughout the demonstration, and I could see they were impressed with what we all had to say about CrewSafe and the app.”
Misner is keen to see the CrewSafe system rolled out as a nationally-recognised competency-based test.
“I am introducing CrewSafe to my customers here in the ACT and when I show them the app and explain what CrewSafe does, they are jumping on board and using it themselves,” he said.
“A foreman on a construction site has numerous types of machines operating on the site with every type of trade. If he can feel confident that the team with the crane is trained to that machine and the operator can display his CrewSafe card, which provides all the required information via a QR code, he can’t help but be impressed.”
The CICA StartSafe program is a new program that has impressed Misner. He explains the reasons why he joined the pilot program.
“Recently, we heard about StartSafe, and implemented it straight away because StartSafe is integrated into both CrewSafe and CraneSafe. It is a great program and we will be fully adopting it. Our office staff are still setting everything up but, when it is operational, it will provide another verification that the crane has been inspected before leaving the yard. The more we embrace these pre-check, electronic safety systems as an industry the better off we will be collectively.
“There are numerous benefits with StartSafe. The amount of paperwork we currently have to prepare disappears as it is all automated. We have inspection records for each at our fingertips and, ultimately, 10-year inspections could be a thing of the past,” he said.
“There is no ambiguity with StartSafe. The information captured goes back to a central repository, which is managed by CICA, and when my cranes arrive on site, my team can demonstrate via their smart phone or tablet the inspection history of the crane as well as the CraneSafe and CrewSafe verifications.
“As an industry, we must avoid scenarios where crane businesses take short cuts with equipment. It’s easy to say to a local mechanic: ‘Just pass the crane for its rego and I’ll bring it back next week to fix the faults you have identified.’
“CraneSafe has been successful because it set a benchmark in safety and that’s why it has been adopted universally by the industry. It is the same for CrewSafe and it will be the same for StartSafe.”