March 28, 2024

BC Crane Safety Banner Image


Changes to OHSR Part 14 – Regulatory Guideline Development

On March 5, BC Crane Safety hosted a crane industry meeting to discuss upcoming changes to Part 14 of the WorkSafeBC OHSR. These changes are scheduled to take effect October 1, 2024, and will require submission of a Notice of Project (NOP) – Tower Crane listing the supervisor responsible, verifiable through the BC Crane Safety online registry.

The meeting was attended by 63 industry representatives for the purpose of gathering stakeholder input into the creation of a guideline to support consistent interpretation and application of the new requirements. Participants were invited to contribute to defining the minimum qualifications of supervisors overseeing the assembly, disassembly, and repositioning of tower cranes.

On March 18, WorkSafeBC hosted the “Tower Crane Industry Safety Meeting: Improving Safety Outcomes” to follow up on this matter and others related to tower crane safety. Topics included:

  • Tower Crane Assembly/Disassembly
  • Provisional Operator Qualifications
  • Crane Assembly Supervisor
  • Safe Lift Planning
  • Licensing and Certification

Feedback was invited from more than 150 online and in-person participants in small groups and an open forum. WorkSafeBC will produce a summary of the meeting soon.

Considering recent tower crane incidents, including the 2021 incident in Kelowna that resulted in five fatalities, and the fatality at Oakridge Park in February, this discussion was of the utmost importance and urgency. We will provide updates as available in the next newsletter.

Dedicated Emergency Platform (DEP) Readiness for Construction Sites

Recent data show that having a dedicated emergency platform (DEP) readily available on a construction site can significantly enhance safety and emergency response capabilities. In the event of an accident or structural failure, a DEP can be used to evacuate injured or trapped people.

According to Section 4.13 of the OHS Regulation and Guideline 4.13 (3)(a), work at high angles requires specialized rescue, which can be effectively performed using DEPs hoisted by a tower or mobile crane. Cranes can lift the platform and/or access areas that are otherwise challenging to reach. They also enable controlled movement and positioning for efficient rescue operations and help emergency responders avoid unnecessary risks associated with unstable structures, debris, and hazardous conditions.

Crane operators deployed to assist in an emergency using a DEP must be certified to perform critical lifts under OHSR 14.1(d). Employers must confirm that the operator has a Full Scope certificate, or, if the operator holds a valid Provisional certificate they must operate under direct supervision.

Download BC Crane Safety’s Toolbox Talk on the safe use of DEPs using cranes and Provisional Operators Must Work Under Direct Supervision Until Competent Safe Work Practice Bulletin to learn more.

Verifying Crane Operators’ Qualifications and Competencies as Required by WorkSafeBC

Did you know that WorkSafeBC Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) Part 14.34 requires employers to check an operator’s qualifications and competencies before they start operating a crane on the worksite?

Employers must confirm that the operator is certified (OHSR 14.34.1) for the work they plan to do and on the equipment they’re using. If an operator has a Provisional certificate, the employer must have a written plan for supervision on file. This helps to improve safety, reduce the risk of incidents and injuries, and prevent delays in production.

Regulatory Amendment: Three-Point Seat Belts in High-Risk Vehicles

WorkSafeBC is proposing regulatory amendments related to using seat belts in high-risk vehicles. These changes mandate a minimum of three-point seat belts in some high-risk environments, particularly for certain types of Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) equipped prime movers. The regulatory amendment may also impact rough terrain (RT) mobile cranes, boom trucks and other types of off-road equipment such as telehandlers.

The goal is to reduce upper body trauma risks during rollovers. Although two-point lap belts keep operators within the ROPS, three-point belts can help prevent head strikes against hazardous features inside the cab.

March is Ladder Safety Month

Every year, hundreds of people are seriously injured while using a ladder. It’s essential to recognize that ladder safety training is sometimes overlooked, as there’s a common assumption that ladders are straightforward compared to more intricate equipment like cranes, forklifts, and power tools used at construction sites. Falls from ladders continue to be a leading cause of injury to workers in the construction industry. Ladder Safety Month is a perfect opportunity to ensure that you and the people you work with are educated about using ladders safely. It’s also a good time to reinforce safe climbing practices when entering crane cabs or doing maintenance.

Empower yourself and your co-workers with knowledge by delivering BC Crane Safety’s toolbox talks at the beginning of your shift: Ladder Safety and Use three-point contact with cranes. Our hardcopy InfoFlip “Slips, Trips, and Falls” can also be used to help enhance awareness. Please contact us at to receive a copy.

Crane Safety Q & A


Question: What are requirements for provisional certificate holders and their employers?

Answer: The BC Crane Operator Provisional designation allows people to operate cranes under supervision until they obtain full crane operator certification. Here’s what you need to know:


The trainee or registered apprentice must be under indirect supervision for non-critical lifts and direct supervision for critical lifts, as defined by WorkSafeBC.

  • Direct supervision means the supervisor closely observes and provides verbal directions during critical lifts.
  • Indirect supervision means the supervisor provides guidance and has ensured that the trainee or registered apprentice is qualified for everyday, non-critical lifts.

The employer must ensure a plan is in place for supervision and assign a supervisor qualified to oversee crane operations. For more information on supervisor qualifications, visit our Employer Awareness post on the conditions of the Provisional designation.

Application Process for New Operators

  • Register with BC Crane Safety if you haven’t already done so.
  • Pass the applicable exam. Check out our Get Certified page to learn more.
  • For non-apprentice crane classifications, pass the Crane Operator Provisional Theory Test delivered by Fulford Certification.
  • For crane classifications eligible for the registered apprenticeship path, pass the SkilledTradesBC Level 1 Common Core Exam. See the application form for current fees and conditions. Registered apprentices who have passed the Level 1 exam can bypass the Crane Operator Provisional Theory Test by submitting their SkilledTradesBC program transcript to Fulford Certification.

If you don’t pass the exam, you can reapply to take it again a maximum of three times. See the Fulford Certification Re-Application Form for more details.


The Provisional certificate expires after one year, but it can be renewed for up to three years depending on whether you are a registered apprentice or not. Renewals are only valid for the same crane classification as the original application and the original sponsor/employer. If you change employers, you must update your Provisional designation through Fulford Certification.

  • For non-apprentice crane classifications, you can apply to renew your Provisional certificate only once. See the Fulford Certification Renewal Form for more details.
  • Provisional operators who are apprentices registered with SkilledTradesBC can renew up to three times, allowing four years to meet the certificate of qualification requirements for competency and seat time hours. See the SkilledTradesBC Renewal Form for more information.

Remember, this designation is a stepping stone toward your Full Scope Crane Operator Certification. Stay safe and keep learning!

Question: Cranes built in the 90’s would not have anti-collision devices included. Are these devices only available in newer cranes? Is there an add-on they can acquire for them? If they can be installed, who would have to do the installation, and once installed, would someone need to sign off on them?

Answer: In March 2023, regulations were revised to require employers to ensure that zoning devices are installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Adding a zoning device to a tower crane is considered a modification and must be approved by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or a professional engineer.

Many newer cranes are plug-and-play ready for these new systems. The electrical schematics come fully compatible from the OEM. In that case, the owners just need to find a trusted vendor to install the new system and get sign-off from an engineer. Tower cranes built before 2006 would not be factory-ready to accommodate zoning systems, and a lot of cranes that have been in service for years may have undergone modifications that are not necessarily approved.

If you have an older piece of equipment, you may run into some challenges when installing zoning/anti-collision systems, for example:

  • Electrical/Control Panel modifications – You will need to provide up-to-date inspection and maintenance records for any electrical or control modifications, including accurate electrical schematics. Modifications will need to be assessed and certified by a professional engineer or the OEM.
  • Equipment modifications – You will need to provide up-to-date inspection and maintenance records that represent any structural or mechanical modifications to the machine. Modifications will need to be assessed and certified by a professional engineer or the OEM.

Visit BC Crane Safety’s website to learn more about the anti-collision regulation changes and requirements. For the latest updates in the crane industry, visit the Updates section of the BC Crane Safety website.

Question: We are an arborist company in the West Kootenays and are increasingly making use of cranes to deal with difficult jobs. We are trying to find out if there is any legislation that addresses whether or not the arborist can “ride the ball” of the crane to access the tree.

  1. Is there is existing legislation or guidelines related to crane work in the arborist industry?
  2. Is there existing legislation or guidelines related to having a worker “ride the ball” to access the work site and complete the work?


1) Is there existing legislation or guidelines related to crane work in the arborist industry?

No, but WorkSafeBC has published some general resources for safety in the arborist industry, such as “Keeping arborists safe during tree removal in residential and recreational settings”. You can also review BC Crane Safety’s Toolbox Talk “Elevating work platforms” with employees.

2) Is there existing legislation or guidelines relating to having a worker “ride the ball” to have access to the work site and complete the work?

Legislation states that a worker must not ride on a load, sling, hook or any other rigging equipment.

Employers can apply for a Variance to OHS Regulation from WorkSafeBC for some situations such as using a boatswain chair, but riding the ball is never permitted. For more information about the process and application please visit Variances to and acceptances under the OHS Regulation.

The applicable sections of the OHSR include: 

About BC Crane Safety Infographic