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Tower Crane Manufacturers recommend Europe-wide Harmonization of Trainings

BRUSSELS/BELGIUM, June 20, 2013 - Construction sites are getting more sophisticated and complex – so does the technology used in tower cranes. Crane fitters and crane drivers today must have skills much different from those in former times. However, their trainings on the job and the skills required from construction companies differ very much throughout Europe.

„Our goal is to increase safety on construction sites – Europe-wide. This is why we need harmonized trainings of crane fitters and crane drivers“, says Dr. Peter Schiefer CEO of Wolffkran AG and head of a section of CECE which is coordinating the interests of the European tower crane manufacturers. They recently summarized the industry’s recommendation „For a harmonized European Tower Cranes‘ Fitters License”, and “For a harmonized European Tower Cranes‘ Drivers License” respectively. Manufacturers highly recommend to identify Europe-wide minimum training requirements. Such trainings should provide the crane drivers and the crane fitters with knowledge and skills to drive and fit tower cranes independently and safely. Their goal is to establish a so called “European certificate”, these workers have to obtain which entitles them to take up duties as a qualified tower crane driver or fitter.

Training requirements are not harmonized in Europe. Even in Germany legislation is not that strict. Tower crane drivers only have to give evidence that they are capable of driving the machines. This can be done by trainings and tests offered by a private organization called ZUMBau. Similar requirements are made in the UK, in France these tests are carried out on the basis of “CACES” requirements. In Italy the legislation D.Lgs n.81/2008 has been recently implemented and it defines requirements and trainings for the operators, but nothing is foreseen at the moment for the fitters.

The European tower crane manufacturers are calling for minimum requirements for trainings followed by a final written and practical test as complimentary for tower crane drivers. Minimum contents of tower crane driver training should be knowledge about national rules and regulations, general safety obligations, crane operating techniques, rigging and load carrying ear, understanding of load diagrams, stability and accident prevention as well as practical exercises driving an operational sequence.  

The aim of harmonization in the training should likewise include the definition of recognized testing facilities which should have qualified assessors, presence on site of at least two types of tower cranes and a dedicated areas where the exercises can be appropriately carried out. bi