Crane operators: Unite highlights safety concerns as sites picketed

unite-white-out-of-redCranes idle on second day of nationwide strike

July 27th: Unite, which represents over 90% of crane operators in Ireland, today held a demonstration outside the Health and Safety Authority to highlight concerns regarding non-compliance with crane operator certification procedures.  Following the demonstration, Unite members handed in a letter to HSA Chief Executive Martin O’Halloran outlining the concerns of Unite’s Crane Operator Committee in respect of instances where the training and experience criteria have not been met prior to awarding a certificate, endangering the safety of construction workers and members of the public.

The demonstration was held on the second day of industrial action by crane operators, which saw pickets and protests at key Dublin sites since early this morning, while construction sites around the country were also impacted.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer for Construction Tom Fitzgerald said:

“Following last week’s inconclusive break-up of talks at the WRC, today marks the second day of industrial action against CIF firms in pursuit of our members’ pay demands.

“But while we are determined to ensure that crane operators receive a wage reflecting their levels of skill and responsibility, our members are also determined to ensure that sites are safe both for construction workers and for members of the public.  Unite is aware of several instances where the requisite experience and training criteria have not been fulfilled prior to certifying a crane operator, and this is of grave concern to our members.

“That is why Unite is proposing a working group including representatives from Unite, the HSA and SOLAS to review training and certification practices in the interests of safety.

“At a time when the construction sector is booming, workers need to know that construction jobs are not only decent jobs, but safe jobs”, Tom Fitzgerald concluded.

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