Mobile Crane Operator Shortages

After pandemic restrictions eased, many employers found themselves competing for skilled mobile crane operators. In the summer of 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced a staggering 9.3 million open jobs across the country. The construction industry is facing a labor shortage, particularly among the heavy equipment operator jobs.

Safety on job sites is a valid concern when it’s hard to recruit and retain highly skilled workers. It’s risky to run things without enough staff – but it’s also unsafe to operate with workers who aren’t adequately trained.

Here are some strategies to overcome the shortages of highly skilled mobile crane operators and keep the worksite safe:

Retain your skilled workers. Treat your current experienced staff well, so they don’t leave for better opportunities elsewhere. It’s a competitive market, replacing someone good will cost your business in delayed schedules, dips in productivity, and possible liability for accidents if you can’t hire workers who are equally skilled to replace them. When was the last time you reviewed wages? Maybe it’s time to offer your regular mobile crane operators a raise – or implement pay raises tied to the length of employment so that people feel rewarded for their loyalty. Many employers offer incentives like performance bonuses, per diems for meals, and travel expenses.

Identify workers to train up. Are there some junior workers on the job site who show potential? Offer to pay for the training if they can complete their national certification and commit to working with you for a set time. Many companies that offer NCCCO certification training will work with employers to provide classes in-house.

Recruit skilled and experienced workers. In addition to having a reputation for treating workers well and taking safety seriously, it helps to offer signing bonuses and competitive salaries. You will have to stand out from the competition to attract exemplary workers. Some companies also provide bonus payments to existing staff who refer potential workers that you hire and stay for a minimum time.

Make sure you have good corporate safety culture and exceptional leadership. In a competitive job market, workers will pick jobs where they feel safe and treated well. Invest in safety training and safety-enhancing technology, take safety audits seriously, and make sure that managers and supervisors have leadership training. Leaders benefit from learning skills and techniques to help them thrive.

Labor shortages can significantly affect job site safety. How well does your existing coverage protect you? Contact New Heights Insurance Solutions to discuss our specialized insurance coverage for mobile crane rental operators.