There’s More To Cranes Than Simple Controllers

You’ve probably seen cranes – the giant mechanical lifting devices used in industries, construction sites and harbours to lift large loads – and you probably know that they are operated by controllers. However, did you know that sometimes, the operator in the control unit does not see how or where the load is being lifted exactly? Probably not. The truth is, sometimes cranes have to operate under such conditions, and therefore, they are rightly classified as a type of High Risk Work (HRW), which are jobs that can pose considerable health and safety risks.

The operation of these cranes and also, hoists (unlike cranes, hoists can handle only vertical lifting), fall under the fields of work known as ‘dogging’ and ‘rigging’. A dogman is tasked with assistance (i.e. securing the loads, confirming the state of equipment, etc.) and directing a crane operator, while a rigger can function as a crane operator and also set up, repair and disassemble cranes and similar lifting devices. Since both fall within High Risk Work, it is necessary to undergo courses and thereby obtain a special license prior to engaging in these types of work. A dogging course instructs the basics of lifting operations and all related operations, and is a prerequisite for the more advanced rigging courses.

Rigging courses are of three types:
• Basic rigging – basic rigging usually also includes the dogging course, but certain courses may require individuals to have undergone the latter course separately on a previous occasion. Basic rigging includes the erection of elevated platforms, hoists and fall arrest systems
• Intermediate rigging – intermediate rigging covers basic rigging, and expands upon it by introducing the erection and dissembling of more advanced hoists, cranes and dual lifts
• Advanced rigging – advanced rigging covers intermediate rigging and includes the erection of scaffoldings, cableways and other similar platforms which are required to be extremely sturdy and stable

In the case of dogging work, individuals not having dogging licenses may perform dogging work under the condition that a competent dogman is either overseeing the work or has delineated the work process correctly and signed it off. Rigging on the other hand, can only be performed by qualified riggers (since faulty cranes or mishandled lifting devices can pose very serious safety hazards).

In addition to most workers (if not all) engaging in either rigging or dogging work requiring a license, the company or firm undertaking the work operations has to also obtain various permits and comply with the stringent regulations of the locality to ensure that the many health and safety risks involved in dogging and rigging are reduced as much as possible.