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Standards Australia hosts International ISO Technical Committee 96

Standards Australia hosts International ISO Technical Committee 96.

In mid-April, 50 plus ISO TC 96 Committee representatives from around the world, arrived in Sydney to attend a week-long series of meetings, presentations, updates and discussions about ISO Standards. Being a Founding Member of ISO, Standards Australia hosted the event, explains CICA CEO Brandon Hitch.

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“With ISO being international standards, representatives attended from all over the world including France, the United States, India, United Kingdom, Germany, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Finland and Italy. Standards Australia is a Founding Member of ISO and hosted the event, the last time they hosted was in 2015. That year CICA sponsored the networking event, and we did the same this year,” he said.

ISO Technical Committee 96 is the parent technical committee and there are nine subcommittees which cover topics ranging from definitions and vocabulary to design principles for tower cranes, mobile cranes, bridge and gantry cranes. All nine subcommittees meet face-to-face once a year. 

“The meetings were a combination of reporting on the progress of the working groups responsible for updating standards or creating new standards relating to cranes. Examples included the standards for the testing of stability and access to crane cabins,” said Brandon. 

“Meetings also covered classifying cranes for their use, which is important to our market as it relates to major inspections. Reporting also included operator competencies for slingers, riggers, doggers or what they call signallers, all the way up to the wind effects that should be considered by different crane types.

“The objective of each subcommittee is to examine the drafting of requirements for countries to use in the design or use of the standards within the crane industry. Each country is represented by their own expert, and they will explain why they think a part of the standard needs to be updated, or which area of the standard is important for their country and the committee reaches a consensus on content that can be adopted around the world,” said Brandon.

“Australia really shone both in terms of the hospitality shown by Standards Australia and also having Sydney as the backdrop. It is an easy city to invite international visitors to because they really enjoy the scenery, the Australian culture and relaxed behaviour and general friendliness. 

“What happens in the meetings is consistent, it doesn’t matter where you are, you are resolving issues. It’s when the meetings conclude and members leave the rooms and these international delegates become tourists enjoying everything Sydney has to offer,” he said.

“In terms of hosting international meetings, uniquely, Standards Australia Bridge Street head office in Sydney, is world class.

“They were able to host more than 50 delegates for a total of 21 meetings over seven days. Our final summary meeting at the end of the week attracted 45 delegates from the countries mentioned. During the week the number of participants for each meeting would vary, but the average would be between 10 to 15 delegates. Throughout the week we had a variety of different personnel from those countries participating, some stayed three days, some stayed the full week of meetings.

“With ISO meetings, the content of conversations is always technical and procedural. As a standardising body, ISO has a set of procedures that every committee adheres to. This is coupled with the detailed research and reports from institutions developed to help feed inputs into the planning and drafting of standards,” said Brandon.

CICA had a strong presence at the ISO Technical Committee 96 meeting which included Brandon, Patrick Cran, CICA’s CraneSafe and CrewSafe Technical Advisor and Alice Edwards, CICA’s Technical Project Engineer, CICA’s President Ben Pieyre and CICA Board Member Andrew Esquilant.

“The representation from CICA during the week reflects the confidence the CICA Board has in our activities as the Industry Body and the benefits we are delivering back to the industry as a whole. The support of the CICA Board enables us to contribute to the standardisation of our industry and help build harmony across the different countries and contribute to the ‘Global Crane Community’. Our contribution as the sponsor of the Networking Event also highlights how integral CICA is to this community and it was greatly appreciated by the ISO delegation,” said Brandon.

“The community within the ISO Standards Organisation runs deeply. Many people have been involved for 10 plus years and every time you attend the ISO Technical Committee 96 meeting, you make new friends and reacquaint with others for the week, which helps the development of relationships and rapport. 

“When issues arise throughout the year or when things come up randomly, we can reference individuals and relationships that we’ve built over the time. Having the CICA board support this event, indicates the value CICA brings to the local crane sector and also the contribution it makes at a global level. It puts Australia on the map,” said Brandon.

“There is what is termed a ‘Mirror Committee’ which is an Australian Standards Committee working on local standards and how they relate to the standards, processes and procedures ISO is developing internationally. Increasingly the local standards are utilising and adopting information being developed internationally to assist with the training activities here in Australia.

“I think the perception of other delegates attending the ISO Technical Committee 96 meeting was that the CICA representatives were strong contributors and that is indicative of the way we approach these types of opportunities. We are focused on gaining as much information as we can regarding overseas developments and bring this back to our membership to continue to ensure our industry is at the forefront of development and remains as safe and sustainable as possible,” he said.  

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