This week, myself and one of my employees undertook the course and medical for the RISI (Rail Industry Safety Induction) ticket. The ticket is similar to the construction industry generic induction although a bit more thorougher. When it comes time to testing you must get at least 80% of questions right out of 69 questions, and 100% of the practical test which involves about 25 questions.
The ticket is one of the requirements to work in a rail corridor, it is only one of the requirements and you cannot obtain the ticket and then enter a rail corridor, permits must be obtained and for all work crews a "Protective Officer" must be present, my understanding is that the Protective Officer or PO is an OH&S officer, with a lot of understanding of the railway system.
We arrived at the Rail Training Center at 7:30am, the class went until a bit after midday with a few breaks in between. The test is straightforward and the trainer was quite good in that he went over everything a couple of times and would answer any questions put forward however you have to pay attention as its a must pass test. The main things I could remember is the up and down line, clothing required, signals to stop train and terminology. As long as you pay attention you should get through the test.
After the test we did our medical downstairs at a medical center that specializes in workplace medical and drug tests. We did hearing and eyesight tests as well as a urine screen for drugs. The list of drugs tested for is quite comprehensive from all the illegal drugs; cocaine, heroin, cannabis and LSD among others as well as over the counter and prescription drugs; morphine, methadone, endone, xanax and codine. These are not the only drugs that are screened but what I could remember from being told by the nurse that administered the test. If you have had to take any prescription medicine you can tell the nurse and they will write it down on the paperwork, then should any of the substances be found you have a legitimate reason for testing positive.
If you test positive to drugs you have to wait 3 months to take the test again. If you fail a second time it is a 9 month test and I would say that perhaps working inside the rail corridor is not for you.
The urine samples are sent to a laboratory and then sent back to the medical center, from there the medical and paper work from the tests are sent to RailCorp. RailCorp is the issuer of the RISI ticket, they send the ticket back to the rail training center and they either post it out registered post or you can pick it up. To me it seems a bit inefficient but than when has anything government been efficient?
From doing the RISI training and medical it takes a few weeks to get the ticket, so allow the time for the ticket, you do get a certificate that says you did the course but you can only work with the RailCorp issued ticket, and they are 100% strict on the no ticket no start policy.
Once you have the ticket and are working on the railways, you must have the ticket on your person at all times, also there are regular random drug and alcohol tests conducted by RailCorp. Last year in NSW 384 people tested positive and had their ticket terminated (minimum 3 years before you can apply for RISI again as well as fines) The allowable amount of alcohol when working on the railways is 0.00 so drugs and alcohol, NOT AT WORK!! or before work or after work or ever if you work railways.
One of the more common mistakes on construction sites is the use of too many cranes. Often times, in order to complete a project, managers tend to lean towards more cranes in the theory that this will enable the project to be completed quicker. Using this theory in many cases you are in fact limiting the amount of workability each crane is able to perform, and in return limiting the amount of lifts it is able to carry out. In these instances we have found that cranes are usually only working at 30% to 50% efficiency. This is highly inefficient, and it raises the cost of the project due to the cost of the cranes, plus the labour needed to erect, service, operate, and dismantle the cranes during the extent of the project. A construction site should be engineered to have a working efficiency of the tower cranes up to 80%. This allows each crane to have full range of motion at all times, while working at its max radius without interference from other cranes positioned too close on site.
In order for this to be effective and for there to be no delays to the project it relies heavily on micro management. The best way to ensure this is to have a person on site dedicated solely to the management of logistics. The person’s job would be to schedule each and every delivery on site and note what delivery point it will be arriving to and where it needs to go. This will enable the project to maintain tower crane efficiency and organize the site so that each and every aspect of the project can be planned down to the day.
By managing the daily workload of the tower cranes, this will enable you to ensure that they are working to max efficiency with little downtime, and keep the project moving along smoothly with no delays.
This article was originally posted on vandoorntcc.com. You can find the original article here
There are many colorful character in the rigging game and I will be straight up, we have a zero tolerance for drugs and work, if you fail a drug test there is no counseling, no second chance as we are doing high risk work.
Employers often think of drug tests of a fail safe way to know if employees are using illegal substance, however those drug tests are not 100%. Most illicit drugs pass through the system within 48 hours, however cannabis use can be detected for up to 12 weeks, so if your employee will test positive chances are it will be for cannabis so it may be best to screen for that drug alone as this will be much cheaper than testing for all illicit substances.
The test can be beaten by a drug user if they have sufficient time to prepare for the test, that is why a lot of times the employer will spring a drug test with little notice, from a few days to literally on the spot.
For a urine test the test can be beaten by drinking a lot of water, a real lot so that the subject is passing only water, the subject will then take vitamin tablets to add color to the urine which now is just vitamins and water, the test will show up negative. However tests can be done against this by testing the creatinine levels in urine
"Creatinine concentration is also checked during standard urine drug tests. Normal creatinine levels indicate the test sample is undiluted, whereas low amounts of creatinine in the urine indicate either a manipulated test or low individual baseline creatinine levels. Test samples considered manipulated due to low creatinine are not tested, and the test is sometimes considered failed."
An obvious way around this would be to take a fair amount of creatine to bring up the levels.
More thorough and expensive is testing from the hair, this can test a wide range of drugs for up to 90 days in the scalp and one year if taken from the body (usually underarms) as this is testing inside the hair shaft there are no known ways to beat this test except for shaving all body and head hair.
In independent studies hair drug testing uncovered 4 to 8 times as many drug users as urinalysis.
The only way for a around this testing is to remove all hair from head and body, then a urine test will have to be implemented.
Ever get sick of people asking you what the definition of awesome is? Yeah me too. Well pre empt it, print out this picture and next time you are asked you can hand over the definition of awesome.
When it comes to types of cranes, there is a wide variety of brands, sizes, weights, and lifting capacity to suit any lifting needed anywhere in the world. What we find is that most cranes are engineered to have a working life of between 20-25 years, if there is regular maintenance and upkeep done.
Examining the Types of Cranes
While there are many different types of cranes, all of them are engineered to be safe, reliable, and to be able to lift the capacity you need, depending on the type and model that you choose. When choosing the type of crane that you need you must not only consider the weight that needs to be lifted, but also the radius at which the object must be lifted up at. This significantly changes the loadings imposed on the crane, and thus you will have to adjust the size and model to suit. Also, remember that the loads imposed on the crane must be transferred to the ground; therefore you must ensure that the ground is capable of maintaining its structural stability while the additional loads are imposed on it which include not only the weight of the crane but also the object it is lifting, the lifting gear (chains, slings).
Here is a look at some of the types of cranes you might come across and how they are generally used:
1. Mobile Crane (Wheel based or truck mounted) – One of the most powerful pieces of equipment in the construction business, mobile cranes are used for building and maintaining highways, bridges, buildings, pipelines and towers. They have a maximum height of about 400 feet and can lift hundreds of thousands of pounds.
2. Tower Crane (Hammerhead, Luffing, or Derrick King Crane) – Most major construction sites have tower cranes. They often rise hundreds of feet into the air and can reach out just as far. They are used to lift concrete, steel, large tools, and a variety of other building materials.
3. Marine Crane – Marine Cranes are most often found either on the shore line or attached onto the boat or ocean vessel themselves. They are used in the lifting and placing of boats into the water from shore, or if attached to the vessel it is used in the assistance of lifting and placing objects on board into the water or back on shore. The come in a variety of sizes and can be found with the following jib options: Foldable knuckle boom, stiff boom crane, or telescopic.
4. Gantry Crane (cantilevered, Overhead traveling, Semi Gantry, Wall mounted) – Gantry cranes have become a popular alternative to overhead bridge cranes. They are similar to bridge cranes, except that they run on a runway at the floor level. The bridge is supported by a pair of rigid steel legs, carried by a pair of end trucks along the floor level runway.
5. Electric Hoist (mounted or travelling) – An electric device used for lifting or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or chain wraps.
6. Straddle Cranes (travelling or mounted) – A straddle crane or carrier is used in port terminals and inter-modal yards used for stacking and moving ISO standard containers. Straddles pick and carry containers while straddling their load and connecting to the top lifting points.
Just one of the great things about working with tower cranes is the awesome views the job affords. There is need for office politics to get that awesome corner office overlooking the ocean in our game.
Sometimes when work gets a bit crazy and the stress goes up we can neglect the simple things so its nice to take a minute and admire the view, with a coffee in hand there is nothing better, well almost nothing.
Ever driven a manitou? They are a cross between a forklift and a franna crane and their real name is a telescopic handler or telehandler. Manitou is just the company name however they produce so many of them that if you call a telehandler a telehandler to someone they will probably turn around and say "WHAT??? you mean the manitou??? Anyway they are pretty handy machines, and very very mobile, four wheel drive with nice grippy tires. However today was not Wilfred's day, he got a little bit suck in the mud.
Often on a decent sized building site where there is a tower crane a mobile crane will be bought in so that the tower crane can focus on lifting the deliveries and moving formwork and other materials around on site while the mobile crane puts up small steelwork. (other times the mobile crane does the deliveries and the tower crane puts up the steel)
This allows the site to keep moving, the riggers dont need to stop for other peoples lifts and other trades dont loose access to a crane while steel is being put up.
Usually the crane is a mobile crane parked adjacent to the building being constructed or a spider crane is lifted onto the slab.
However on this Brookfield Multiplex site the crane selected for the job was... a mobile crane to be places on the slab, this doesnt happen too often and there needed to be a pretty decent size mobile crane to lift it into place, back propping of the slab was also necessary and the surveyor made points on the slab (where the propping is) where the crane had to be set up
Rain, it can be a builders worst enemy, especially when foundation work is involved. Delaying projects and causing more work. As well as the cost of delays, rain damage and creating work such as pumping and tarping there is a large hidden cost you may have to pay called inclement weather pay.
Some work such as scaffolding absolutely cannot be done in the rain for safety reasons, other work such as concreting well you just have to push through. If using labour hire providers in their clauses there is often a charge rate hidden in the contract somewhere for their personnel working in inclement weather (rain). The going rate is about $50 an hour on top of the regular hourly charge rate. A building company owner I know was unaware of the addition charge until he got invoiced with $1575 just for inclement weather in a one month period, he subsequently trained up one of his labourers for the role and got rid of the labour hire employee.
The lesson here is that you need to make sure that whoever you use to supply personnel, you are made aware of the total costs including hidden costs such as inclement weather, crib allowance, overtime etc. The regular charge out rate doesn't mean much when its just a portion of the total costs. At Crane & Rigging we provide a flat all inclusive hourly rate to take the complexity out of estimating your labour costs, its just one of the ways we do things to make it easy and straighfo
To get your tower crane license in NSW it would cost you from between $2800 - $2950. The course in one week in a class with about 8 people. This price is unbelievably excessive, a one day first aid course is about $100, keep in mind that this gives you the license but will not get you a job as a tower crane operator. When I hired an assessor to get my tower crane operator license in 2007 the cost was $350 TOTAL COST! So if you think the price of rents going up in Sydney is bad well yes but to get your crane license went up 842% or 140% per year. So unfortunately I cannot recommend anyone in NSW.
However for about $1050 you can get your National Certificate of Competency License to Operate a Tower Crane in Western Australia at Construction Skills Training Centre. They are located near the Perth in Welshpool, the license is a national license so the wonderful thing is you can get it in WA and come back and work in NSW or whatever state you live. When I need to get one of my workers their tower crane license I will be paying for a return flight at the cost of under $500 to Perth, after accommodation of $500 you are still going to be ahead a good $1000.
To book or more details contact Construction Skills Training Centre on (08) 9358 6501.
Perth is a very nice city and good for a holiday with its fantastic beaches so its a great excuse to get away there and visit. If however Melbourne, Victoria is more your thing you can go Australian Easy Train located at 35 Kimberly rd, Dandelong. Their price for a tower crane license course is $1500.
To book or more details contact Australian Easy Train on (03) 9706 4881
If you would like to get your open mobile crane license the best prices I currently know of is $1350 and $1400 on the Sunshine Coast, QLD or in Darwin. Again do this course in NSW you will pay double!!!
To book or more details contact Site Skills Training on 1300 562 754
These providers run their courses about once a month, it is preferable if you have extensive dogging experience before applying.
If anyone knows of other places that provide tower crane licensing for under $2000 send me the details and I will post it up here, I am sure there is a provider in QLD that charges reasonable rates as well.
Excuse my pessimism but this once again shows you that NSW is the rip off state.
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