Crane operators go through an extensive crane operator training before they are allowed to work as part of the requirement under the Department of Occupational Safety and Health which oversees and enforces the Factory and Machinery Act 1964 and Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 for the following machines i.e. Mobile Crane, Crawler Crane and Tower Crane. Other cranes under the hoisting machine categories still requires training before an operator is allowed to operate the machine which is governed under the Persons in Charge Regulations of the Factory and Machinery Act 1967. This is because without the proper training, crane operators can hurt themselves or others when an accident occurs and can be fined severely according to the relevant regulations.
Companies that employ crane operators are mandated by law to put their employees through training. This is important as it will help shape the crane operator’s view on the job and the training will add to his overall job performance.
In order to qualify for a mobile crane operator, tower crane operator and crawler crane operator training program, the candidate must be at least 18 years of age and must first pass a medical exam. Trainees need to be in good physical and mental condition as operators are expected to be focused at all times when behind the controls of a crane.
The training courses may be different depending on location and availability, but all cover the core elements of being a crane operator as seen below:
Behaviour. This includes the discipline of the crane operator himself, it aims to put into perspective the lives and risks at stake if the crane operator in charge does not take his job seriously. Changing the behavior and outlook is one of the first things trainees learn during the course.
Safety training. Once the trainee learns just what it means to pilot a crane, they now must learn how to stay safe. Trainees are taught how to properly control the crane, and how to operate it carefully as well.
On Field Training. Written tests are great and all, but the only way the trainee will learn is on the field. On field training is done by letting them handle the machinery while they are closely supervised. This builds the confidence and hones their familiarity with the controls.
Final Practical Exam. Before trainees are certified, they must first pass a final practical exam wherein everything they’ve learned from safety to controls is put to the test. They must prove themselves to be able to handle all the pressures and responsibility of being a crane operator.