Occupational diseases of crane operators


There is a popular folk wisdom which says, "All occupations are good,". It would be silly to argue with it. However, let’s add that each occupation has its peculiar diseases. For example, miners are at risk of developing lung diseases, such as bronchitis and asthma. Most warehouse loaders would almost certainly complain of joint and back pain. Surgeons and anesthesiologists are constantly subjected to stress.

Operators of different types of heavy machinery, like bulldozer drivers, excavator operators, and crane operators, are no exception. They have their own special set of illnesses. Due to the specifics of the profession, people's lives and those who will use the constructed object (house, bridge, or industrial building) often depend on how well such professionals perform their work, both at the construction site or at the production facility…

To perform his/her duties efficiently, without missing the slightest details, the person must be healthy. We have decided to introduce you to the main problems that would eventually begin to haunt crane operators. We will skip the common runny nose, catarrh and colds that you can catch by just sitting inside the cab from winter wind or draft in summer from the open window. Let’s rather discuss the more serious issues.

First of all, the musculoskeletal system is affected. After all, the crane operator spends his working day in a sitting position with low activity and repetitive movements. The joints and muscles suffer here, and for diseases, you have myositis, bursitis, snapping fingers, osteoarthritis, and osteochondrosis.

The recommendations are simple: warm-up, do not overwork for extra hours. No job is worth ruining your health over; go for regular checkups at the first signs of discomfort.

Another problem is hearing loss because construction, manufacturing, or loading/unloading are always noisy. Your hearing acuity worsens, you see yourself struggling to understand what is being whispered to you, and you occasionally experience tinnitus. Again, do not delay your visit to an ENT specialist. And for prevention purposes, we recommend wearing helmets and headphones. Just do not forget to let the rig operator know beforehand.

After about 5 years of working as a crane operator, the effect of vibration on the body becomes apparent. Especially the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, the hearing organs are affected. Production of norepinephrine increases, which negatively affects heart and blood vessels. So, we recommend that you visit the relevant specialists – therapists and neurologists can diagnose vibration disease, although you may need to consult a cardiologist or an ENT doctor, as the case may be.

Of course, the list is far from being complete, but you have got the main message – a crane operator must go for regular medical check-ups because we are talking about a job associated with increased occupational hazard. And how long have you yourself been examined?