Regulatory modifications in the trade of crane operator, published today in the Gazette officielle du Québec, will soon come into effect. Essentially, the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) has revised the rules governing the trade of crane operator to adapt them to the realities on construction sites, in order to give workers greater flexibility and meet needs during labour shortages. Read the press release
As of May 14, 2018:
- The new qualification for the shared activity of “boom truck operator” will be accessible to journeymen in all trades and specialties in the construction industry – with the exception, of course, of crane operators, who are already qualified to operate this type of machinery.
- A new path for access to the trade of crane operator will be opened with the implementation of an on-the-job training plan. Therefore, this trade will become accessible in the same way as are other construction trades, subject to strict rules for the prequalification of non-graduates.
No compromises on workers’ safety and training
No compromise has been made with regard to health and safety on construction sites – in fact, the opposite is true. During the work that led to the regulatory modifications, the CCQ was able to count on the collaboration not only of industry experts, but also of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), which validated the content of the obligatory training and the exams, as well as the support materials. The relevant bodies at the CCQ, in which the employer and union associations are represented, were also consulted, and they endorsed the regulatory modifications.
Qualification for the shared activity of "boom truck operator" for journeymen as part of practising their trade
As of May 14, 2018, journeymen in all construction trades and specialties will be able to obtain qualification for the shared activity of “boom truck operator,” which will allow them to operate, under certain conditions, a boom truck with a maximum capacity of 30 tonnes in order to load and unload materials directly related to practising their trade. To obtain this qualification, they will have to fulfil all the conditions set out in the regulation, including taking and passing an obligatory 90-hour training course and a qualification exam for which the passing grade is set at 80%.
In order to facilitate ongoing operations on construction sites, the CCQ will favour applications that involve the training of people employed at companies that already have this type of machinery.
Of course, after May 14, crane operators will continue to be able to operate a boom truck with a maximum capacity of 30 tonnes.
New path for access to the trade of crane operator
On May 14, 2018, new conditions for access to the trade of crane operator will come into effect. These conditions will replace and enhance the course Utilisation sécuritaire des grues (USG) with an on-the-job training plan (OTP) for the trade of crane operator.
When they are hired, all non-graduates will have to complete the OTP within an employment guarantee of 150 hours within a period of three consecutive months. The OTP will include an on-the-job practical section, an online theoretical section, and finally an integration exam for which the passing grade is set at 80%. Once they have passed this exam, people may continue their apprenticeship in crane operation as they would in any other trade – that is, by taking a minimum of 30 hours of training recognized by the CCQ every year until their on-site apprenticeship is completed.
The on-the-job training plan: A serious process
Deciding to enter the OTP for the trade of crane operator is a serious process, for both employer and worker. In fact, if an employer hires a non-graduate and together they undertake this process, the employer commits to providing the person with a job guarantee of 150 hours over a period of at most 3 consecutive months. If the training is not completed, or not completed within the prescribed time, or if the person fails the integration exam, that person will not be able to continue to integrate into the trade of crane operator until he or she obtains a diploma of vocational studies in crane operation. He or she will not be allowed to retake the exam for integration into apprenticeship for the trade of crane operator.
This new regulation follows up on a decision rendered by the Commission des relations de travail (now the Tribunal administratif du travail). This decision required the CCQ to resolve the regulatory problem of the USG course, which made access to the trade of crane operator impossible for non-graduates. As a result, employers will benefit from a supplementary access route for filling their workforce needs, as the trade of crane operator becomes accessible in the same way as are all other trades in the industry, subject to strict rules.
The favoured path to obtaining a crane operator apprentice competency certificate remains earning a diploma. No employer is required to take advantage of this new measure.