Power Crane Association of New Zealand
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Roles & Responsibilities


The design, manufacture and testing of the crane.
Crane Owner/Manager
Management of cranes, equipment and specialist people
Crane User/Manager
Management of site, workforce and public
Crane Operator
Hands on control and first line responsibility

The Essentials of Crane Safety

Crane Operator

The crane operator is the vital link in the safe accident-free performance of crane and lifting operations.

Complete co-operation between crane operators and other personnel involved is essential.

Carelessness or neglect, improper operation or failure to observe commonsense safety rules can result in serious injury to both operator and others or damage to valuable machinery or property.

Written rules can never cover all situations that may arise when operating a crane. Most hazards can be avoided by the exercise of intelligence, care and commonsense.

A positive attitude and behaviour towards crane safety is essential for all persons involved.

A competent crane operator is a person who has acquired through a combination of qualifications, training or experience the knowledge & skill to perform the task required.

Basic and essential requirements for crane operators include:

A sound knowledge and understanding of the crane being operated and the cranes approved rating chart. Ability and experience to operate the crane within its rated capacities. Thorough training and instruction in the fundamental principles of safe crane operating practices. Operators must be alert, physically fit and free from the influences of alcohol, drugs or medications that might affect eyesight, hearing or reactions.

Safety must always be the operatorís most important concern. He must consult his supervisor when safety is in doubt.


Prior to setting up and commencing lifting operations on a new site or when approaching a new area of operation it is essential that crane operators thoroughly inspect the working area for power lines and other potential hazards.

Be fully conversant with the manufacturerís operatorís manual for the crane you are operating. Be sure of its capabilities, limitations and special "personality". Do not assume that one crane will operate the same as another. Characteristics of performance may vary from one machine to another in the same model.

Regardless of what type of crane, parameters for operation should never be ignored, load charts must never be exceeded; load chart notes must never be overlooked and special precautionary instructions must be closely followed

Know your equipment - prepare it for the job.

Know its capability. When planning your operation, donít neglect to consider potential hazards and operating limitations. If operating radius is unknown, plan your loads on the safe side of the load chart. Recognise and understand dangerous situations. Develop instinctive corrective control reaction when suddenly confronted with the unexpected.

Understand how to read the rating plate or chart in your crane and know that the machine can safely lift each load before attempting to lift.

  • A crane operator requires the highest degree of safety consciousness and alertness to job hazards.
  • In an industry that is changing in technology as rapidly as the crane industry the job of training is never finished. Even the most experienced operator requires constant reminding and revision.
  • Regular retraining is fundamental to increased safety and efficiency in crane operations.
  • A competent crane operator is the key to accident free performance.

Competence is a combination of knowledge, skill & experience.

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Power Crane Association of New Zealand