Crane Operator

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Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Crane operators control mobile or stationary cranes to lift, move and place objects at locations such as construction sites, wharves and shipyards.

Crane operators use cranes to lift and move heavy objects at locations such as construction sites, Decline large-scale manufacturing operations, mine sites, wharves and other work sites. When setting up at a site, crane operators must check the condition of the ground, ensuring that it is firm and level, and for any potential obstacles, such as overhead powerlines. They must also be aware of the safe working limits of their crane, to ensure that loads are not too heavy and that the crane's reach is not over-extended. Crane operators often work closely with doggers, observing and following their directions to guide loads into position.

ANZSCO description: Operates stationary and mobile cranes, hoists, lifts and winches to lift, move and place materials, equipment and people in areas such as building sites, factories, mines, sawmills, wharves and shipyards. Registration or licensing is required.

Alternative names: Crane Driver, Crane Operator, Mobile Crane Operator

Specialisations: Braceperson, Chairlift Operator, Cherry Picker Operator, Elevated Work Platform Operator, Pile Driver, Portainer Operator, Tower Crane Operator, Winch Operator, Winding Engine Driver

Knowledge, skills and attributesCrane Operator Talking

A crane operator needs:

  • enjoy technical and engineering activities
  • good eyesight with the ability to judge distances
  • to be comfortable working at heights
  • to be safety conscious
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • able to concentrate
  • able to follow verbal instructions
  • mechanical aptitude and good coordination
  • at least 18 years of age.

Duties and Tasks

Crane operators may perform the following tasks:

  • check the condition of the ground (e.g. building site) before setting up the crane
  • place timber blocks or steel plates under the outrigger pads of the crane
  • check that the crane is level on the outriggers before attempting to lift and place a load
  • be aware of how much material can be safely hoisted in each load according to the crane's capacity and the weather conditions (e.g. high winds)
  • make sure that cranes are ready for use by checking controls, instruments and gauges
  • move the crane and position the hook so that doggers can attach loads, slings, shackles and chains
  • check crane cabin instruments to make sure that loads hooked on their machines are within safe working limits
  • observe and follow the signals given by doggers who direct the moving and positioning of the loads
  • maintain cranes by inspecting them for defects or wear, lubricate ropes and winches, and replace worn cables.

Working conditions

Crane operators work at construction sites, warehouses, wharves, mine sites and manufacturing operations throughout Australia. They work in most weather conditions, except high wind and heavy rain, though they often operate the crane from within an enclosed cabin. Many crane operators work irregular hours, which can often include working nights and on weekends. This work can be hazardous and crane operators will have to follow strict safety guidelines to minimise the risks.

Crane operators on building and construction sites work in all conditions. They may operate a variety of cranes: gantry cranes, used to move shipping containers; tower cranes, often used on large building projects; overhead cranes, used in factories and workshops; and mobile cranes, which may be truck mounted.

Tools and technologies

Crane operators may work with a range of different types of cranes, such as tower cranes, gantry cranes or mobile cranes, depending on the requirements of each job. Two-way or CB radios are often used to communicate with doggers and other workers on the site. Safety requirements often require crane operators to wear protective clothing, which can include a hardhat, overalls, high-visibility clothing and boots.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To work as a crane, hoist or lift operator in Australia, you must obtain a High Risk Work Licence for the specific class of crane you wish to operate, issued by WorkSafe.

In order to be issued a High Risk Work Licence, you must be at least 18 years old and complete a training course for the class of crane you wish to operate, conducted by TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The mobile crane operator traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a “white card”). In Australia, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by WorkSafe.



Did You Know?

"Babu Sassi, a fearless young man from southern India is the cult hero of Dubai 's army of construction workers.

Known as the "Indian on the top of the world", Babi is the crane operator at the world's tallest building , the 819-meter Burj Dubai.
[* now called "Burj Khalifa" - is tallest building in the world] His office, the cramped crane cab perched on top of the Burj, is also his home. Apparently it takes too long to come down to the ground each day to make it worthwhile. When the building is completed, its elevators will be the world's fastest.

Stories about his daily dalliance with death are discussed in revered terms by Dubai 's workers. Some say he has been up there for more than a year, others whisper that he's paid 30,000 dirhams ($8,168) a month compared with the average wage of 800 dirhams a month. All agree he's worth it."
(Source: Hoax-Slayer: Highest Position in the World - Babu Sassi Crane Operator)

Babu Sassi

Myth of 'Babu Sassi' Remains After Burj Cranes Come Down (2009)

YouTube: Burj Durbai
https://youtu.be/12oynGTjYKs


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