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VOCs scrutinised at NSW CICA industry day

The panel discusses Verification of Competency licenses at the CICA industry day.

The Crane Industry Council of Australia has gone in depth on Verification of Competency (VOC) licenses at its New South Wales CICA industry day.

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Beginning with a welcome and acknowledgement of country by Preston Hire’s Stephan Becherand, the topic of competency and experience demonstrated by an official VOC endured a sustained and thorough examination through a contractor panel moderated by Tadano’s Jay Gower. Answering the questions and leading the discussion were David Solomon (Master Builders Association), Grant Gjessing (Strait Up Cranes & Rigging), Warwick Johnson (Multiplex), Conan Jenkins (John Holland), and Ryan March (Borger Cranes).

Among the key topics broached, the panel was firstly asked to discuss how it felt about the current VOC system and the requirements by most Tier One contractors to only accept VOCs by suppliers of their choice, before moving on to examining if the current VOC system genuinely measures a worker’s competency or if it is now just a box-ticking exercise.

Next, the panel delved into how they felt about rigging, dogging and crane operator high-risk work licenses being obtainable through a four-to-five-day course, with the legitimacy of VOCs versus traineeship program-acquired skills also being cross-examined. Furthermore, the panel discussed the best way to properly ascertain the level of competency a worker possesses to complete certain tasks.

Following this, the panel broached advancements in crane technology and whether or not it is driving complacency as well as a lack of fundamental basic crane knowledge, the management of industrial relations, the future of the construction and infrastructure sectors, and how best industry practices are being relayed to workers.

Also on the agenda for the CICA industry day was a speech from Endeavour Energy’s Riley Bryn, discussing working safely around electricity. Plugging the Look Up and Live app, Bryn said the app was a free powerline planning tool that utilises geospatial data over satellite imagery to provide accurate locations of powerlines that may be in the vicinity of worksites. According to Bryn the tool is free and easy to use, possesses a range of features and identifies the voltages and relevant asset owners. Furthermore, Bryn also said it can be viewed on a standard web browser or downloaded via an app to use on a mobile device.

A speech from SafeWork NSW’s Joshua Kent, immediately ensued the lunch break, before Transport for NSW’s Brian Sheedy provided a thorough demonstration of the new dogging and rigging handbook.

The day was then rounded out by a speech from CICA CEO, Brandon Hitch, providing an industry update, and concluded with a farewell from Preston Hire’s Stephan Becherand.

The next CICA industry day is being held in Queensland on August 8.

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