Canada has made its intentions clear by revising the CSA B167 overhead crane standards and has adopted the ISO international world standard for cranes, and used this standard to develop a document entitled “Part 5 overhead travelling and portal bridge cranes,” which are instructions unique and applicable across Canada.

The final revision – CSA B167 – has been completed and being sent out for industry approval prior to publication.

But the industry is a long way away from a world standard to which everyone conforms.

Derrick Bailes, chief executive of UK-based Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), explains where problems can occur regarding even the simplest rigging techniques: “US practice used to be to measure angles to the horizontal whereas in the UK and Europe and now in all international standards we measure included angles and angles to the vertical.”

He adds: “Terminology is not universal. For example, he explains, what is a bridle? What is turning hitch?  “Perhaps understood in north America but not in Europe or other parts of the world and not used in standards,” he adds.

In 2000 the world recognised ISO 9000 quality management standards revised the existing standards and introduced standardisation. Throughout North America, Government, provinces, states, industry and multi-site organisations have until now operated totally independent of each other.

Mellott says: “This is still a common practice worldwide between governments and industries and with the constant cost increases of doing business and all the environmental issues that we are facing, there has to be a better way.”

For example, she continues, “a large company with a multitude of locations worldwide, currently makes each location independently responsible for providing the safety training of their crane operators.”

She says part of this reasoning is that every country, province and state where they are located has different regulations and standards for training. This issue is the same no matter what the industry, which is costing industries world wide “trillions of dollars” in operational costs that could easily be reduced if they were only standardized operations and training.

Canada is now among one of the first countries that are leading the way by adopting the ISO crane standards and including instructions that are unique to Canada. This will provide Canada with a single standard for cranes that is applicable in every province that recognises the CSA B167 standards.

The most unique thing about the ISO standard is that a single element (ISO 9926-1- Training of Drivers), is applicable to every type of lifting devises training requirements and Parts 2 through 5 of this element are the titles for instructions to be developed and documented that are unique to each type of lifting equipment. These instructions are to be documented by each country and in turn each province or state has the opportunity to add additional instructions unique to their requirements.

“Imagine what this very simple strategy of the standard could mean for industry worldwide,” says Mellott.

Part of the ISO crane standard that is unique to North America is that it combines operator functions and rigging applications in the theoretical programme and the practical programme. Presently across North America it is common industry accepted practice to train these as two separate programmes, explains Mellott.

As the ISO crane standard will soon will become the minimum requirement in Canada, “it is our intention to bring to industries attention the need to combine crane operations with rigging applications, as it is stated that the operator is responsible for what happen below the hook,” Mellott concludes.

Lisa Olver and Mellott are about to form a new CSA committee to document a rigging standard, within which it has been proposed to adopt the ASME B30 series and document explicit instructions that are applicable in Canada. The ISO standards will also be reviewed for applicable content.

Rigging advice column – 1

In this, the first of Judy Mellott and Lisa Olver’s rigging advice columns, they explain what options are available when considering slings and bridle applications. Mellott defines a bridle application as two or more slings placed in a gathering ring or shackle to the hoisting hook.

Three simple hitches

To begin with, all rigging applications begin with three simple hitches:

– Vertical (straight Lift)

– Choke (choke Lift)

– Basket (parallel to seven degrees)

It is not recommended to use these singly as they tend to rotate the load and they can slip on the load. To prevent this from happening additional slings are included (two, three, or more – called legs) and this is how the name bridle came about. Bridle sling application (two slings or more) control the rotation and balance the load.

To respond or put questions to Judy Mellott or Lisa Olver please contact Hoist editor Richard Howes at, or get in touch directly at: All Canadian Training Institute inc. (ACTI), 100 10405 178 street Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5S 1R5. Mellott can also be reached at

KOLO’S handbook is priced at $34 CDN (pocket) and $37 CDN (desktop). Further information is also available on the website at or KOLO Holdings’ website at