Crane operation requires training to ensure safe use of this heavy equipment. Generally, crane operators earn experience and training using a combination of on-the-job supervised work and special crane operator training programs provided by industry training and certification organizations. The actual requirements of the crane operator training can also be dependent on local industrial requirements and laws.
How and what type of crane operator training is needed to operate a crane is usually determined by the type of crane to be operated. If the crane operation takes place in a manufacturing environment, the crane department supervisor will most likely provide basic training in the safe operation of this equipment. This hands-on training will then be followed by a period of time in which the crane operator may need to take and pass a course in order to be licensed or certified.
Simulated crane operator training may be provided in some industrial environments. This form of training allows the crane operator to get training without endangering other employees or equipment. The crane operator will be asked to go through a series of virtual activities with the simulated crane, which will include operation of realistic controls. Once the crane operator masters this simulated training, he will be able to operate real cranes in the workplace.
The type of crane that may be operated by a trained and certified operator can include overhead cranes, which are most often seen overhead in manufacturing environments. Mobile cranes are heavy equipment transported to job sites where the work is to be performed. Articulator cranes are similar to mobile cranes; however the operation is different in that it involves loading equipment and materials onto other heavy equipment like truck beds. Tower cranes are seen in large sea ports and are among some of the largest cranes in the world.
Technicians generally receive on-going crane operator training in the safe operation of the equipment used. This includes updates in crane technology and safety equipment. In addition to operation, crane technicians are required to be mindful of the safety of others. Licensed and certified crane operators usually receive continuing education to comply with the demands of the job.