Another accident recently occurred involving a crane in Ville-Marie borough in Montreal. As feared by FTQ Construction, the rule changes made by the former Liberal government did not make the operation of a crane safer.

The worker, a fitter-assembler, did not have the required training. Since the bylaw amendments on May 14th, cranes and arrow trucks can be operated by workers with enterprise training or truck-arrow activity rather than crane operator training. The crane involved in the Montreal accident had not been properly stabilized.

That a crane must be operated by a crane operator

“The operation of a crane is a dangerous activity and for us, a crane must be operated by a person who has crane operator training. The CCQ does not have the staff or the capacity to apply the regulations. This puts workers and the public in a dangerous position, “explains Eric Boisjoly, General Manager of FTQ Construction.

One more proof

This new accident is one more element that we will be tabling before the expert committee set up by former Minister Dominique Vien to re-examine the regulation. “The CCQ argued that it was modifying the by-law concerning the operation of a crane because it found the old by-law inapplicable. What we see is that it is always inapplicable. The only way to ensure that a crane is operated safely is that it is operated by a crane operator, “says Evans Dupuis, director of local 791G, representing crane operators. The expert committee is scheduled to meet on December 17th and 19th.

A health and safety issue

The construction industry is the most deadly workplace in Quebec. Every year, while construction accounts for only 5% of Québec’s workforce, we have the macabre record of 25% of accidents. In 1989, employers and unions of crane operators, the Ministry of Education, CSST and CCQ came to the conclusion that the solution was through professional training to reduce accidents involving a crane or an arrow truck. A DEP totaling 870 hours of theoretical and practical training was instituted under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. This training is complete and includes lessons in a secure and supervised environment.

The positive impact of the DEP

The health and safety outcomes of mandatory DVS are undeniable. Since the introduction of vocational training, the number of deaths involving a crane has dropped from an annual average of 4.5 deaths to 1.5, a reduction of around 66%. Let’s also remember a significant drop in the number of injuries caused to other workers during hoisting operations.

The operation of a lifting appliance involves a great and incontestable responsibility for the protection of other site workers, on-site equipment and the general population. The environment of a crane operator is not only his cabin, but the circumference that can be reached by the crane.