January 2020 - Training and Certification for HIAB Operators

Alert of the Month

Boom Trucks, or truck mounted cranes (often referred to by the brand name, HIAB) are common in many forestry operations. However, as a result of a 2017 OHS Regulation requirements change, some operators may not have appropriate training or certification to operate these pieces of equipment. This Safety Alert will help clarify the updated requirements.

The Requirements

Any crane, including folding and stiff booms capable of lifting five tons (4.54 tonnes) and/or have a boom length equal to or greater than 25 feet (7.62 meters) must only be operated by someone with a valid crane operators’ certificate (WorkSafeBC OHSR Guidelines G14.34.1 Operator Certification).

The operator’s certificate must cover the designation and class of cranes used on the worksite.

The Solution

BC Crane Safety oversees all aspects of crane operator certifications in BC. Information on the certification process, including how to register, can be found on their website.

If you are an experienced operator, you may be able to challenge the assessment for certain crane classifications. First, register with BC Crane Safety and then determine what type of crane you will be working with. For large, complex cranes, you will have to submit an application through the Industry Training Authority prior to assessment. For small cranes, you can apply directly through the certifying body for knowledge and practical assessment.

If you are a new operator, you will need to learn on the job, under supervision until properly trained and competent to run the equipment. You will then need to write a theory exam and take practical test. Depending on the size of the crane, this process may be more or less formal, with apprenticeships available through the ITA for large cranes.

Some logging operations use truck-mounted cranes with a capacity of less than 5 tons and a reach of less than 25 feet. Operating these cranes doesn’t require certification but the employer is still responsible to ensure that operators are qualified to do the work and adequately supervised.

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