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Crane Operator Spotlight

Crane Operators operate cranes or draglines to lift, move, position or place machinery, equipment or other large objects at construction or industrial sites.

What a typical day looks like:

Each day for a Crane Operator begins with a hazard assessment. They plan how to maneuver the crane into the right spot – sometimes a tight spot – allowing for room to swing and lift the load. They calculate load weight, inspect the site and equipment rigging for general hazards and ensure a signal person is in place.

In the cab of a crane, Crane Operators have their feet on pedals and hands on levers that rotate and raise heavy equipment and loads into the right spots. Crane Operators are responsible for the safety of the site during lift operations, so they inspect and adjust crane mechanisms or lift accessories to prevent malfunctions or damage. They also follow hand signals from crew members to make sure the load gets placed precisely.

Crane Operators are often found on a construction site, so they deal with additional work hazards such as dust, noise and heights. Typically employed in the oil sands and oil and gas services sectors of the oil and gas industry, they adapt to varying work hours and weather conditions. Many jobs are remotely located, so, often, Crane Operators work away from home, live in a camp and work extended hours.

The kinds of problems Crane Operators solve at work:

Crane Operators carry out all their tasks in a safe and efficient manner in order to minimize any risks, injuries or property damage. They think on their feet and play close attention to any changes to the load they are lifting or to the site around them to make sure that the lifting operation can be carried out without any problems.

Skills used most on the job:

Crane Operators have exceptional hand-foot-eye coordination, depth perception, math skills, mechanical aptitude and troubleshooting abilities to get the job done. They can tolerate different paces of work and a high degree of stress as they’re responsible for a high-risk function of construction operations. They are also good at working with others and active listening.

Crane Operators lift thousands of kilograms at a time – pipe spools, heat exchangers, vessels, fare stacks… If it’s large and needed for construction or operations, a Crane Operator is likely the person for the job!

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