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The year that was for the crane sector

2016 has been another tough year for our industry, with a reported slowing for total construction investment in 2015-16 of -9.8% versus a forecast of -2.4% given last year.

Of course, this is the figure for total construction however, there were pockets, which continued to show strong growth, namely multi-level apartment construction, which was up 18.6%. The good news is that the 2016-17 forecast is for positive growth at 4.6%, driven mainly by infrastructure-related engineering works with road and rail leading the way.

The year that was for the crane sector
2016-17 forecasts.

There is no doubt the current economic climate greatly affected attendance at CICA’s annual conference held in the beautiful north Queensland city of Cairns. From the 336 delegates who attended, I’ve only heard positive feedback. We had a very strong program with opening and closing keynote speakers, manufacturer’s and crane owner’s panels, technical presentations, industry awards and key industry updates. The survey results confirmed that overall, it was a very successful conference. Now we need to look ahead to the 2017 conference, being held in Adelaide from October 19 to 21, so lock it into your dairy.

Now that 2016 has come to a close, I think it is always valuable to recap some of CICA’s achievements throughout the year around our key industry initiatives:

Improve Road Access

  • We have continued to work with the NHVR through the Industry Reference Forum and with the state road authorities.
  • CICA weighing for registration in Victoria – positioning under development in NSW, Qld and SA
  • In May, the SPV Class 1 Access Notice was released, allowing permit free travel for up to 3-axle cranes (2-axle in Qld) on state-owned assets.
  • Tunnel access conditionally approved in Vic for SPV1 to 5-axle cranes.
  • Tunnel access for articulated cranes in NSW when fitted with boom tether.
  • Developed a CICA bridge assessment tool to enable comparison of mobile cranes to standard models.
  • Extended the existing period permit duration to three years for Class 1 and 2 SPVs in Qld.
  • Lobbied local councils to promote gazette for SPV1 vehicles (ongoing).
  • Developed videos and presentations to educate council asset holders and promote our industry.
  • Engaged with the Federal Minister for Transport, Darren Chester. We had our second meeting in Canberra on December 13.

Major Inspections

  • Endorsement from FEM (European materials handling association – represented by the major manufacturers) of CICA’s CraneSafe program of inspection for the regular monitoring of crane condition.
  • Revision of AS2550.5 to allow for consideration of use and condition in assessing the need for a major inspection.
  • Developed electronic CraneSafe inspections, which will add the quantitative and photographic evidence.
  • Nata approval for CraneSafe is currently undergoing the audit process.
  • Our highly successful CraneSafe program has also been recognised by the Piling and Foundation Specialists Federation (PFSF) leading to an industry partnership with CICA to administer a newly created PileSafe green sticker for piling and foundation equipment.

Tier 1 Contractors

  • Engaged with ACA Safety Working Group.
  • Developed initial five focus areas with standard documents – Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS), Lift Plan (Simple and Detailed Lift Plan), Lifting Equipment Register and Pre-start checklist. This information will be readily assessable for the individual cranes in your fleet on the CICA developed electronic portal.
  • Developed and launched CrewSafe to combat the cost and quality of verification of competencies (VOCs). Take a look at the YouTube video here.

Technical Papers

  • CICA-PA-0024-A CICA Position Paper Updates between AS3775(2004) and AS3775(2014).
  • CICA-IB-0030-1 CICA Information Sheet Crane Operating near Airports.
  • CICA-IB-0028-A CICA Information Bulletin – Insurance.
  • CICA-CS-0020-0 Multi-crane or Multi-hoist Lifting (004) Calculation Spreadsheet Tool.
  • CICA Ground Pressure Position Paper (In Draft).

CICA’s mission and vision, is to be “The Authority for the Crane industry” and to have “A Safe and Profitable Crane Industry.” So as we look back over 2016, be encouraged with what we have achieved as an association towards our mission and vision.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the hard work and passion of our members. I would like to extend my sincere thanks for all who contribute to making CICA a great success.

Danny Black is Terex Cranes Australia’s general manager and CICA president.

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