Crane Operator


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

Duties & Tasks

Crane operators may perform the following tasks:

  • check the condition of the ground before setting up the crane (on a building site, for example)
  • 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 (high winds, for example)
  • ensure 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 ensure 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 on building and construction sites, in all weather conditions. They may operate a variety of cranes: overhead and gantry cranes used in factories and workshops, portal cranes used to move shipping containers, tower cranes used on large building projects, and mobile cranes that may be truck mounted.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy technical and engineering activities
  • able to concentrate for long periods
  • able to follow verbal and visual instructions
  • mechanical aptitude and good coordination
  • good eyesight for visual judgment of distances
  • comfortable working at heights
  • safety-conscious
  • able to work as part of a team
  • at least 18 years of age.
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