Crane operators

“New EU directive increases need for European Crane Operator Licence”

Foto: Liebherr
PRESS RELEASE – Support for ESTA’s new European Crane Operators Licence (ECOL) could be given added impetus by a new directive from the European Union.
The directive – EU2018/958 – says that “national rules organising access to regulated professions” should not be used to deny work to qualified professionals from other EU member states. It comes into force on July 30 this year and includes crane operators within its scope. As a result, any crane operator with a licence recognised by their national authority will be able to work anywhere in the EU.

ESTA Director Ton Klijn said that ESTA supported the policy of free movement, but the directive raises issues for the crane industry and its clients due to the huge variance in operator training standards between different countries within the European Union.

“In many countries, the training is of an excellent standard. But to be blunt, in others, you can get an official operator licence with very little training at all. We knew that this directive was in the pipeline, and it was one of the reasons why ESTA started to develop ECOL.”

European Crane Operator License

The European Crane Operator Licence (ECOL) is an initiative of ESTA and is aimed at establishing a uniform European standard for all crane operators in the EU. Currently, each European Member State has its own rules for the professional competence and certification of crane operators. These rules range from compulsory to optional and even to no rules at all. The differences can lead to confusion, have a negative impact on safety and also prevent the mobility of crane operators in Europe.

ECOL is a non-profit organisation, structured as a foundation under Dutch law and governed by a supervisory board with representatives from the crane users, crane manufacturers and crane operator labour unions.

It is ECOL’s ambition to enable every crane operator in Europe to demonstrate that he or she meets the minimum requirements of the industry and exercise his profession in any European member state, while also enabling every employer to assess the qualifications and experience of any operator applying for a position. Additionally, the initiative aims to enable every site or plant manager to check the qualifications and experience of any crane operator who enters his construction site or plant.

Author: Adnan Bajic

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