Crane Operator Job Description
A crane operator is a person whose job is to operate a crane to move, lift, position, or place heavy loads such as building materials, tools or equipment. A crane operator also performs routine crane inspection and maintenance work such as cleaning and lubrication.
A crane operator should be responsible, attentive, safety-conscious and careful, and have a good head for heights. They should have good eyesight and excellent driving skills. They should be aware of the lifting limits of the cranes they work with and ensure that the limits are never exceeded.
What does a Crane Operator do?
Crane operators may do some or all of the following:
- check the load to be lifted to ensure its weight is within the lifting limit of the crane
- operate crane to lift, move, position or place heavy loads
- observe to ensure that the load is safely attached to the crane
- perform routine crane inspection and maintenance
- carefully observe and follow directions from signalers
Where does a Crane Operator work?
Places of work for crane operators include:
- Building and construction companies
- Manufacturing companies
- Cargo handling companies
- Public utilities
- Mining companies
- Oil and gas companies
Crane operators may work irregular hours or on rotating shifts including evenings, nights and weekends due to weather conditions and to fit in with their employers’ business hours. They work in construction sites, warehouses, railway yards, mines, loading ports and other similar locations. Their work environment may be noisy, dirty, dusty or moody.
What is Required to Become a Crane Operator?
There are no formal educational requirements to become a crane operator as skills are learned on the job. People who are interested in the profession should enroll in an apprenticeship program.
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Crane operators need to have:
- self confidence
- alertness and focus
- mechanical aptitude
- spatial awareness
- good eyesight, hearing and color vision
- good hand-foot-eye coordination
- good judgment and decision making skills
- good listening and communication skills
- good driving skills
- math skills
- the ability to sit for long periods
- the ability to follow written, verbal and visual instructions
- the ability to be comfortable working at heights
- knowledge of crane operation safety regulations
- knowledge of hand signaling
- knowledge of crane inspection and maintenance
Should I be a Crane Operator?
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