What is a crane operator?

Crane operators are responsible for a number of different activities in their day-to-day job. Anyone who is thinking about pursuing this as a career will want to learn as much as they can about what roles and responsibilities a crane operator has. Each employer is going to have a different set of specific tasks that they require of their operators, but the following are generally going to be required in all situations.

The Roles & Responsibilities of a Crane Operator

Inspection & Maintenance: One of the first, and most important, responsibilities of a crane operator is to inspect and properly maintain the crane. Before they do anything else, the operator should perform a visual inspection of the machine to ensure it is in good working order. If anything is broken, damaged, or otherwise needs maintenance, they will have to get it done. In many cases this means notifying the maintenance professional for the facility.

Ensuring Safety Compliance: The crane operator is also responsible for ensuring they always follow all OSHA safety guidelines. Whether they are working for a company directly, or brought in as a third-party contractor, they will be directly responsible for any safety violations related to the crane operation itself. For this reason, they must take their own safety, and the safety of the area around them, very seriously.

Operating the Crane: Of course, they will also have to operate the crane according to the requirements of the job. This includes positioning the crane so that it can be attached to the load. Maneuvering the crane so that the load can be set down where it is needed. Keeping the load safe while it is being moved. During this process they will also have to communicate with the signal person, and monitor for any potential hazards.

Remaining Certified: Crane operators have to become certified in order to do their job. They are responsible for getting certified, taking any additional requirements to maintain their certification, and more. If they want to operate a new type of crane, they will have to get the training and certification for that type as well.


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