It’s hard to believe I have been in the same field of work my entire career, for close to thirty years I have been in the business of defying gravity. I am proud to say I am a 3rd generation Operator/Rigger and though the business has had it’s UPS AND DOWNS, it’s clear to say the business is picking up! (pun intended)
I was given a little red book by my father, when I was 17 years old and told to read it. The book was titled THE RIGGERS BIBLE and at the time was the best known publication to a career in the Crane and Rigging field. Truth be told it was quite possibly the only known curriculum in existence at the time, aside from ASME B.30 and the “OLD” OSHA standard 29CFR 1926.550
Over the last three decades I have seen many changes in the industry, from rigging manuals and books like “The Riggers Pocket Book” and “Bob’s Rigging and Crane Handbook” to todays most accepted “ITP’s Rigging Handbook”. Even the DOL/OSHA standards and regulations has seen a major overhaul since my induction into the craft 29 years ago.
Even more changes were soon to come when the C-DAC (Crane & Derrick Advisory Committee) was finally formed, the committee that would advise OSHA and overhaul the heretic OSHA 1926.550 standards from 1970’s to the new Sub Part CC 1926.1400…A change long overdue!
As technology advances, so must our safety standards. The DINOSAUR cranes of yesterday were built rugged and tough, to where as todays cranes are engineered to perfection. In the DINO cranes the chances were more likely to lose stability due the extreme weight of the boom itself, today’s engineered cranes have a better chance of incurring a structural integrity issue.
I am fortunate to have never had an issue with either of the two and in another decade will be able to retire, proving what I have always believed, that all Crane Accidents are preventable! If I can only share one piece of advice with all future and current Operators on how to have a incident free career as an Operator it would be RESPECT EVERY LIFT!