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Why Crane Operator Training Has Become So Important

The need for quality crane operator training has become important in recent years. It seems that 2008 was one of the worst years on record when it comes to crane accidents. However, it could have been worse. A recent story on CraneBlogger highlights the need for well trained operators, operators who work closely with their equipment and can almost sense when something is wrong.

Can you imagine sitting in a crane over 33 floors up, and having that crane topple over the side? It has happened in the past, hopefully it won’t into the future, yet for one operator, that was almost the story. Here is what happened:

The crane operator had an unloaded hook. He’s running the crane when he hears a loud bang and feels movement from what feels like the tower. He stops to assess what has caused it.

I won’t go into all the details of what was wrong. What was important is that the operator was aware of what was normal and what wasn’t. Let’s face it, on a construction site there is a lot of noise. A lot of banging, a lot of shouting and the sound of power tools everywhere. This operator heard a loud bang. I would suggest that as well as ‘hearing’ the bang, he also ‘felt’ the bang. And he stopped.

That last is the most important. He stopped, got out and went and had a look. From the story, it seems he couldn’t readily see any problems. That didn’t stop him reporting it and getting an engineer in to check. Fortunately, for him, he did. It appears the crane was effectively standing on only three legs and could have gone over the side at any time.

It is only through quality crane operator training that individuals can be prepared to work safely on construction sites. Whilst safety is always a prime concern, one of the best safety factors around is the knowledge an operator builds of their equipment. This is almost like having a sixth sense. As an operator, you are at one with the machine and can feel immediately when something starts to wrong. Get the best in crane operator training and you are well on the road to a safe working career.

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