Set for September 19-22 at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, in Kansas City, MO, the 2017 SC&RA Crane & Rigging Workshop will bring together hundreds of the industry’s top professionals to examine safety issues, regulatory and legislative updates and make the most of ample networking opportunities.
An invaluable facet of the Workshop are the committee meetings: Safety Education & Training, Labor and Governing.
The Safety Education & Training Committee will take a look at Task Force Updates: Boom Dollies and Weighing Cranes on Mobile Scales, as well as recent and proposed legislation in New York City, Safety Award criteria and OSHA safety standards.
Chair of the Committee, Kenneth Goddard (International Industrial Contracting Corporation), would love to see a packed room.
“The key ‘takeaway’ is that you’re in a room full of likeminded people,” he noted. “Attendee presence at the meeting is invaluable for the industry experience folks bring to the floor. It’s great to know that safety is an overriding priority to our members, and that is evidenced by the ever-growing numbers that attend.”
Goddard noted that each committee is challenged to come up with initiatives pertinent to the committee’s purpose.
“For example, the Safety Education & Training Committee has spent countless hours on best practice guidelines for such things as hydraulic gantry operation, working around power lines and an employee safety manual that a company can adopt as their own, making changes they feel may fit their company better.” He added, “The Committee is currently working on new initiatives, and all members are encouraged to bring new items, so a discussion can be held and a decision made as to whether this is something the Committee wants to tackle.”
Key committee issues
Items of note on this year’s agenda are the Boom Dolly and Crane Weighing initiatives.
“Both initiatives came from the floor at a previous committee meeting during the new business discussion,” Goddard explained. “A task force has been seated, by both committee and non-committee members, and preliminary findings will be discussed at this Workshop.
“The Boom Dolly Task Force came to life because of major safety issues surrounding the use of them by our member companies. Members who own and operate boom dollies within their fleet understand the risks involved with their usage, but the safety of the crane operators, drivers and general public needs to be addressed because there have been reports of near misses and accidents involving boom dollies.”
The Labor Committee, chaired by Scott Bragg (Bragg Companies), will focus on activities of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, OSHA activities and the status of the MSHA vs Sims Crane case.
“Attending committee meetings allows participants the opportunity to hear from the individual union leaders on the most current items they’re addressing—i.e., training agendas, facilities, recruitment, etc.,” he indicated. “This could also include which federal issues each union is or is not supporting.”
Bragg stressed the importance of non-committee member participation.
“They can ask questions specific to their locations regarding access to training or agreements, etc., and they’re actually the ones that would participate in the items being discussed. It also helps them to remember certain dates where new laws or requirements are to be implemented.”
Bragg added that key Labor Committee Meeting issues this year include: “… publicizing the national agreement between the IUOE and SC&RA, as well as shining a light on training programs, and specifically, the building of the new IUOE national training facility.”
Mike Vlaming (Vlaming & Associates) presides as Chair for the Governing Committee, which will focus on a variety of reports this year, including: Labor Committee, Safety Education & Training, Membership, Permit Policy, SC&R Foundation, Lift & Move USA, International Crane Stakeholders Assembly, Workshop, KHL and NCCCO.
“Some key takeaways for attendees of this year’s Governing Committee will be status updates on issues such as the delayed implementation of the crane operator requirements within the federal Cranes and Derricks Standard, our participation as amicus curiae in the MSHA vs Sims Crane appeal and the activities of the New York City Crane Commission,” he said.
Vlaming sees Workshop attendees benefitting from committee meetings in three ways. “Education and information gathering, gaining an understanding on SC&RA activities in specific industry areas and identifying other Association members who are confronting similar issues with whom they can network.”
Additionally, he noted, “Non-committee members are encouraged to add their perspective and/or experience to the discussion on any topics under consideration by the committees. Such members provide valuable insight and experience that helps to generate discussion that ultimately directs and guides committee activities.”
Another highlight for Vlaming this year includes site visits. “The Workshop begins with an open-house at the Custom Mobile Equipment facility in Baldwin City, Kansas, and ends with a tour of the WireCo World Group facility in Sedalia, Missouri.”
Custom Mobile Equipment will be showing off the new 17/25 Versa-Lift and WireCo WorldGroup is providing the opportunity to see the wire rope manufacturing process to completion. This year’s Workshop will also introduce the Weighing of Mobile Cranes Task Force. John Mummert (ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp.) is very familiar with the task force, and explained the group was formed to collect industry’s concerns regarding the weighing procedures performed when a hydraulic crane is weighed by enforcement.
“Manufacturers, along with industry, have recognized over many years that hydraulic cranes cannot be weighed accurately on certain types of scales,” he pointed out. “Some manufacturers have written proper weighing procedure manuals and explanation letters as to why they cannot be weighed in the same manner that a tractor/trailer is normally weighed. Once all the information is collected, SC&RA would like to work with industry, manufacturers and enforcement to establish a consistent and accurate method to weighing hydraulic cranes.”
Ultimately, Mummert sees the Workshop and the committee meetings as an instrumental opportunity for Association members to “ … put faces with names, gain awareness on common/current challenges, share information and network, network, network.”