ECOL agrees experienced operators’ standards

Members of ESTA’s European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) working group have reached agreement on one of the most important outstanding issues – how to set a standard for experienced operators without forcing them to completely retrain. 

The working group driving the project has backed a structure that it hopes will encourage experienced operators from countries that have joined the ECOL system to become ECOL qualified.

The key elements of the plan are as follows:

– crane operators with less than four years of operating experience will have to do the full ECOL training and examination.

– crane operators with four to eight years of operating experience will have to complete a three-week training, consisting of 40 hours practice and 80 hours theory, and take the examination.

– crane operators with eight or more years of operating experience will have to complete a one-week training, consisting of 16 hours of practice and 16 hours of theory, after which they will take the examination.

The working group has agreed to define “a year of experience” as a year in which the operator has proven record of operating a crane for at least 500 hours.

Klijn said: “I am very pleased with the progress we are making. There is still a lot of work to do, but agreeing a system for managing experienced operators is a big step forward.”