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CICA Crane Lift Supervisor course hits regional New South Wales

The CICA Crane Lift Supervisor course deals with the gaps in the industry around training for high-risk licenses including Dogging and Rigging.

Early April saw Gunnedah’s GBP Crane and Haulage host the two-day CICA Crane Lift Supervisor Course. Derek Hamilton was the RTO and Damien Roman, GBP’s General Manager, the host. Both discuss the content and aims and objectives of the course and what it means to the local community.

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Derek is a Chartered Civil Engineer, Qualified Arbitrator and a Federal Safety Officer. 

“I’ve been working in both the private and public sectors of civil construction, in Australia and overseas, for over 30 years. 

“I worked with Fulton Hogan for 18 years and that’s where I met Tom Clark a leading specialist in cranes and lifting. Together we wrote the cranes and lifting procedure for Fulton Hogan. I understand the responsibilities of Tier One Builders and how Contractors, Crane Operators, Riggers, Doggers and other High-Risk License operators are involved in lifting processes.

“I have been lecturing Civil Engineering and Construction at Monash University for 20 years and that’s where I met Brandon Hitch, CEO of CICA. Brandon lectures the cranes and lifting topic within civil engineering construction, and we’ve been doing this for five or six years,” said Derek.

Derek goes on to explain more about the course content. 

“In many respects, the course deals with the gaps in the industry around training for high-risk licenses, including Dogging and Rigging. It provides a fundamental understanding for Tier Ones and Supervisors who, on completion of the course, have the ability to ask open-ended questions or request information on issues relating to the lifts they are planning. 

“When it comes to Work Health and Safety, everyone in the Chain of Responsibility needs to be aware of their Duty of Care. Whether you are a Tier One builder or the Contractor conducting the work, you need to understand your Duty of Care, have good processes in place and implement the processes to Australian Standard requirements,” he said.

The two day course covers three modules. The first covers engineering principles and brings the students back to basics including: what is the load? How much does it weigh? How do you calculate the weight? Basically, the fundamentals of understanding volumes, working out volumes and areas and knowing densities and materials per cubic metre. The module also covers wind, understanding center of gravity and rigging requirements.

“We cover wind calculations, understanding the effect of wind and requirements around that. On the second day, we look at more complex lifting. Understanding what the key requirements around complex lifting are, working out forces in different cranes based on where the centre of gravity is.

“Fundamentally practical as well as theoretical topics including lifting precast elements, making sure you have the correct certification and confirmation for the lifting arrangements from the manufacturer so you can lift that particular precast element into place. That’s what we go over,” said Derek.

“There are assessments for the guys. There’s a bench level mark they need to attain to pass and get a certificate for their learning. When you pass, you are accredited to Crane Supervision based on what The Crane Industry Council of Australia believes is a fair benchmark,” he said. 

Derek goes on to explain how the course attracts individuals from various areas and roles in industry.

The CICA Crane Lift Supervisor course deals with the gaps in the industry around training for high-risk licenses including Dogging and Rigging.
With the significant increase in the number of incidents and close calls, the CICA Crane Lift Supervisors Course became relevant to Supervisors on the ground in the mines. Image: Prime Creative Media.

“For this course we have Mining Supervisors from Whitehaven Coal and with other courses we have attracted foremen, boiler makers riggers and crane operators. The course is designed to be challenging. 

“The content isn’t so challenging for crane operators and riggers because they will be across the material, for them it’s a case of reinforcing the information. But for the Mine Supervisors for example, it is challenging because we’re asking them to focus on maths and understand what included angles mean and how to calculate sling loads based on what the shared load might be on an anchorage point, these types of topics. But at the end of the course, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive and everyone takes something away,” said Derek.

Damien Roman is the General Manager at GBP Crane and Haulage. He explains how he got the business involved with the Crane Supervisor course and the reason why. 

“As a regionally based member of CICA it was obvious that most of the training activities were taking place on the East Coast revolving around the major cities. For our business, it would be too expensive and disruptive to send our teams to Sydney for a few days, for example, but we could see the benefits of upskilling our teams.

“So, I reached out to Paul Artzenhofer CICA’s Membership, Conference & Business Development Manager, to explore the opportunity of bringing the training courses to Gunnedah and suggested we could network with other crane companies in the region to fill the spots.

“The courses, including CICA’s On-Road Articulated Steering Mobile Crane Training Course are professional development courses. That’s important for our more senior team members who have high-risk work licenses, they are competent, but we are always looking to up skill their abilities which in turn reduces our insurance premiums, so it’s a win win,” said Damien.

“As we were speaking to Paul, the New South Wales Resources Regulator put out a statement confirming a significant rise in the number of dangerous incidents involving lifting equipment which prompted the NSW Resources Regulator to review recent events in the NSW mining industry,” he said. 

Within a one-month period between mid-October and mid-November 2022, there were seven lifting-related dangerous incidents, with four occurring over five days. The incidents involved cranes, chain/lever hoists and self-propelled jigs, with a range of causes and contributing factors. 

“With the significant increase in the number of incidents and close calls, the CICA Crane Lift Supervisors Course became relevant to Supervisors on the ground in the mines. Various coal mines including Maules Creek, Whitehaven Coal and Boggabri Coal jumped on board and collectively we’ve had close to 80 people attending the course and in between that interest we are trying to fit our guys in as well,” said Damien.

“The interest has been good and with the NSW Resources Regulator Forum covering lifting and unplanned movements, the mines pro-actively put their supervisors through some form of formal training. This is where the course has become a godsend and that’s why they’ve jumped on board. Maules Creek, for example, have used this course as a replied action of improvement and a way to mitigate the risks around lifting,” he said.

The fees for booking the training room are donated to community charities.

“As a family business, we strongly support local businesses and charities, and I don’t think there’s much in town we don’t support. When we developed the new yard and facilities including the training room, we partnered with Boggabri Coal, who book it out annually. 

“We save the room hire fees and donate it to local charities and we’ve got two university scholarships in there as well. In 2023 we donated just over $7000 and with the CICA courses now on board we have already passed $10,000 and it is only April,” said Damien. 

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