Being an operator of an excavator or a huge crane is a dream almost all little boys have. Kids’ Christmas wishes of construction machine toys to play with all day and night. We all know how the jobs of construction operators look exciting and in some way, powerful. Just imagine operating such a huge machine to move tons of equipment. But have you ever thought about how complicated work it is? What the real responsibilities and duties are?
The work of a construction operator is complex work requiring highly skilled and specialized people. There are no doubts about it. Operators are dealing with the most powerful machines in the world which are actually able to move the heaviest of loads to the highest of heights. The second responsibility of a construction operator is safety - the most important thing on construction sites - supported and developed by periodical effective safety trainings. Let’s have a more detailed look at the job profile of a construction operator.
First of all, let’s have a look at the responsibilities that come with the job. Safety first, please. As you may have read in our previous article 13 Accident Prevention Tips for Using Construction Machinery, safety is one of the pillars of a successful workplace. Operators of heavy equipment need to practice safety with every step of his or her daily work. There is no room for a mistake when we are talking about safety. Construction work requires one hundred percent focus in any given situation. Knowing where to step, where to go, how to use the equipment, where all the colleagues are and much more, is important stuff to know in order to not cause an accident.
A very obvious but important responsibility is having knowledge about the piece of equipment one is operating. It’s not only about knowing what the machine is about, what can be accomplished with it, what all of its parts are or how to jump on and off the machine. Importance is also given to the care of the machine itself meaning its cleaning, maintenance and repairs. It’s essential to know how to treat a machine in order to not cause any damage or decommission over time. Using the machine for the purpose for which the machine was made and treating the machine to allow the machine to run for a long time is a significant responsibility of construction operators.
The construction workplace is a dangerous and strenuous environment which is not suitable for everyone. Only physically skilled individuals can stand such pressure to work with calm minds, strong hands and with emotional stability.
Anyone would be surprised, but the physical ability to lift ten pounds is also required. Even though it might look like all the heavy work is done by machines, the reality is a bit different. All operators should be able to bear a few pounds by themselves as it’s needed in particular situations.
Communication is the evergreen of all successful and satisfying workplaces. The synergy that proactive communication yields between operators and their co-workers on site is crucial to daily work duties. Stay aware of and interact with colleagues. When there is good communication, there is good chemistry among team members and it leads to greater respect and avoidance of problems.
The ability to analyze past work and compare it for better future performance is always welcome. Knowing the ins and outs of the job as much as possible and having the mindset to be able to work on better results is a big advantage for any operator who understands the importance of the position.
Like any other job, the job of a construction operator has requirements and qualifications that a candidate has to face when applying for the position. The minimum education is a high school diploma or equivalent. Possession of a commercial driver’s licence is also required, but there is always an option to obtain the licence after getting the job. The knowledge of safety standards and willingness to attend trainings often is mandatory as well.
Last but not least is the ability to be detail-oriented. Paying attention to details is connected with safety and accident prevention. Keep in mind that construction work needs complete attention during any given minute of the work. There is no space for mistakes, only for focus and precise work during each of the eight working hours.
The construction operator position is exciting and challenging but also very complicated and strenuous. It is not suitable for everyone but the ones strong in mind and body are able to make enormous things happen in the next several centuries while using the most powerful construction equipment on the market.