Australia, CICA

CICA President Report: Managing stressful times

Ben Pieyre

CICA Board President

Most people I’ve spoken to have hit the ground running in 2023.  There is an abundance of projects in the pipeline and staffing challenges mean that we’re all doing extra to keep completing the jobs in a timely manner.

It is common to make New Year’s resolutions regarding our physical health, and while looking after ourselves physically has beneficial mental health spin offs, I urge you to consider your New Year’s resolutions for your mental health.  Waiting until the mental load has become heavy is like watching the temperature gauge go up in your car but waiting until the engine seizes before going to the mechanic.

Time pressures can prevent us from being proactive in this space but if you don’t make time for it, you may end up having to take time off to deal with it.  

CICA provides a free well-being platform as well as an Employee Assistance Program for member companies and their staff. This partnership is with human resource firm Lifeworks, who support over 26 million people worldwide.

The platform is a combination of pro-active apps which have a variety of resources relating to five key areas:-

   Personal well-being and health

   Relationship issues

   Family issues

   Substance abuse and addiction

   Workplace challenges.

The platform is underpinned by two phone-based applications, one called LifeWorks, which offers five quick surveys to examine the employee’s overall wellbeing, as well as helping to determine what resources should appear on their newsfeed within the app. The other is the Lift session
fitness app. which provides a wide range of workouts that can be done anywhere, without the need for expensive equipment.

There aren’t many industry associations providing this type of benefit to their members, and CICA hopes to see it make a difference for people right across the Crane Industry.

This service is provided free of charge to all CICA members and their employees and is completely confidential. If you are a member and would like to find out more contact CICA Membership Manager Paul Arztenhofer.

In last month’s issue, you may have read about CICA’s award winning On-Road Articulated Steering Mobile Crane Training Course.  This course is very significant to our industry for a number of reasons:

1. It is the right thing to do. It is also important for employers / managers, to understand that their role is to do what is ‘reasonably practicable’ to ensure the health and safety of their crane operators and others on construction sites and on the roads.  Failing to recognise this and utilise available training tools can have serious ramifications for all, if an incident occurs.

2. The NHVR was tasked by the Queensland Coroner (as a result of the 2017 Inquest into the deaths of Christine Nan Leonardi and Samuel John Leonardi) to urgently amend the National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice to: 

a. impose a speed restriction of 60km/h on all mobile articulated steering cranes (until such time as electronic stability control systems are developed and fitted); and restrict access to mobile articulated steering cranes on roads and motorways where it is assessed that a speed restriction of 60km/h will be unsafe for other motorists.

b. Propose an amendment to the Heavy Vehicle National Law to ensure that internal speed limiters are set to 60km/h on all mobile articulated steering cranes (or 80km/h when fitted with electronic stability control); and 

c. Conduct independent testing of each make and model mobile articulated steering crane to determine whether there are any inherent lateral stability issues that need to be addressed in terms of the design of the vehicles.

The NHVR has completed its testing and it is anticipated their findings and recommendations will be released sometime in 2023.  The threat of heavy regulation is a very real possibility for our industry, so while we have been given this opportunity to self-regulate, we should make every attempt to do so, to demonstrate that we are an industry that places a high importance on safety.

3. Most pick and carry crane operators have never been properly trained or assessed, however, this new training and assessment program is now
being provided to a cohort overlooked by the heavy vehicle road licence and high-risk work licence framework.
A great deal of consultation was done, prior to and during the development of this course, so that it has been customised to the user / business in a way that is easily accessible and encourages participation.  

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