According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are around 43,000 crane operators in the US, and as of 2023, a crane operator earns an annual salary of approximately $46,068. These statistics seem promising, and the good news is that the demand for crane operators is expected to grow dramatically. Another report reveals that over 2,800 new crane operator jobs will likely be filled by the end of 2029.
Considering the growing number of crane operators, riggers, signalers, and spotters in the US, one must stay updated on the latest crane worker safety rights as stipulated in OSHA codes. Working with and around crane equipment is quite dangerous. It’s not just hazardous to an operator’s health and well-being but also extremely risky for on-ground workers and bystanders.
And that’s why our crane systems experts in the US have highlighted the key crane operator rights in this blog. Knowing these particular rights can help crane operators stay safe at the workplace and file claims in case of an accident or an emergency.
OSHA and Crane Operator Safety
OSHA is the regulatory body in the US that deals with workplace safety and workers’ well-being. The organization defined cranes as a part of the large construction machinery. It maintains that although cranes are designed to safely hoist, hook, lower, and move a load, they pose several risks to the operators. That’s why it’s critical to properly train the operators before they can assemble, operate, navigate, or inspect a crane machine.
OSHA focuses on creating newer, better, and more effective crane operator rights to protect their health and safety on a job site. It has several codes and procedures in place to help crane managers and employers create a safe workplace for their crane personnel. Some of their main crane operator rights include the following;
Access to a Safe Workplace
According to OSHA, all employees, including crane operators, have the right to a safe work environment. Business owners and company managers are otherwise liable to pay hefty fines if they fail to ensure safe workplace conditions.
Crane operators must have a vetted, well-inspected operational site. Their working parameters must be free of any other equipment, hazardous chemicals, and power lines. Moreover, employers must hire licensed and qualified crane safety inspectors who regularly check and troubleshoot the material management machine.
Access to Updated and Correct Training Resources
Crane operator training is required by the law. OSHA strictly maintains that new as well as experienced crane operators must be trained periodically. New operator and refresher training sessions must be held monthly and annually. Moreover, employers are also required to keep tabs on their crane operators’ license validity and certifications.
OSHA’s 2018 code announced that each crane operator must be trained and certified to work with a specific type of crane. It also says the crane operator training modules must consist of written and practical assessments.
Work-Life Balance and Breaks
Crane operators, undoubtedly, engage in extremely risky work assignments every day.
From inspecting and assembling a crane to carefully navigating and stopping it, they have to be very cautious throughout their shifts. Moreover, crane material handling jobs demand a high level of focus and attention. Therefore, crane operators must have rest breaks throughout the day and the right to claim a pre-determined number of leaves.
Just like any worker or employee, a crane operator also has the right to maintain a healthy work-life balance to steer clear of fatigue-related injuries and on-site accidents.
Fair and Impartial Wages and Benefits
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), construction site workers, including maintenance and equipment operating engineers, craftsmen, and mechanics, are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay. As a crane operator, you must know that your employer is paying you fairly or otherwise, you have the right to report any wage violations to the government.
Access to Safe Equipment and Supporting Machines
OSHA is also quite particular about crane and derrick maintenance and safety. It requires crane owners to hire licensed inspectors for daily, weekly, and monthly crane inspections. Regular maintenance and necessary repairs can have a significant impact on crane worker safety at an operational site.
In addition to making sure that a crane load chart is duly followed, crane operators also have the right to be equipped with quality crane warning devices. Their cranes should have additional safety systems such as a Load links, an anti-two blocking device, an LMI and RCI system, and wireless wind speed indicators. These products can fast-track crane operational performance, safety, and efficiency and allow crane operators to stay vigilant during load lifts.
OSHA also offers a crane hazard detection and solution eTool to help crane personnel minimize construction-related injury risks.
Moreover, the US Department of Energy recommends crane supervisors, line managers, and operators understand and follow their safety manual when working at a rigging site. Head over to this link to learn more about crane safety hazards and OSHA-suggested solutions such as fall protection, machine guarding, and scaffolding: Crane, Derrick and Hoist Safety - Hazards and Solutions | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)
How Crane Warning Systems Atlanta Can Help You Maximize Your Crane Equipment and Operator Safety
Crane Warning Systems Atlanta is a leading and highly reliable crane warning indicators distributor in the US. Our product range includes high-quality, high-performance, and durable crane safety devices such as crane overload indicators, crane capacity indicators, crane capacity systems, crane a2b systems, and crane load monitors. You can also check out our RaycoWylie crane safety products and buy quality crane wind speed indicators at the best prices.
Call our team today for more details.