ESTA calls on clients to publicly back ECOL licence

ESTA Director Ton Klijn has called on the construction industry’s major clients and contractors to give public backing to the fast-growing European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) scheme.

Klijn said that many clients and contractors – especially those in the energy and civil engineering sectors – have long complained to ESTA that they do not know whether the crane operators working on their sites are properly qualified for the machines they are operating – and are worried that safety might be compromised as a result.

He argued: “ECOL is making steady progress but we could move much more quickly with stronger support from the wider industry, especially from major international companies who wield great influence over their suppliers.

“For example, the big energy companies could publicly say that they expect crane operators on their sites to hold an ECOL licence or a verifiable qualification of comparable standard.

“This is a basic safety issue. Crane operator training standards vary hugely from country to country. ECOL is trying to raise the bar so that we eventually stop unqualified and dangerous operators from working equipment when they should not be doing so.

“We know that many firms are fully behind our work in this area, so now we are asking them to make their support public and to communicate that support to ECOL and their supply chains.”