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Care for the Crane, Care for the Operator

Crane with crew

Following a maintenance plan for cranes and other heavy-duty equipment is always a smart investment of time and resources. The crane will run more efficiently, safely, experience fewer breakdowns, and be a reliable asset over the long run. The same could be said for the crane operator. The April issue of American Cranes & Transport Magazine (ACT) includes an article that stresses the importance of the crane operator’s health, both physically and mentally.

Some helpful ideas are summarized below.

Physical health

Hydration – In general, a person should drink half of their body weight in ounces of high-quality beverages such as water and herbal tea (i.e., 180 lbs. weight = 90 oz. of beverage). Caffeinated drinks and those containing high amounts of sugar, such as coffee, soda, and juice should be avoided while on the job.

Sleep – The average person needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Many construction-related jobs have early start times, so being committed to an early bedtime with no sleep distractions (such as phones and TV) will help the operator be more alert.

Nourishment – Healthy eating is essential to a healthy weight, posing less risk of injury on the jobsite. The more basic and natural the food, with as little chemicals and additives as possible, the better for overall health.

Movement – Walking, stretching, and staying active promote cardiovascular and metabolic health, as well as boosting overall mood. Exercise is a natural antidepressant.

Mental health

Be thankful – For a job done safely, for filling a valuable role in the construction industry, for coworkers remaining unharmed and everyone doing their best work.

Take a breath – Try a practice known as “box breathing.” Inhale for a count of four, retain the breath for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, then hold your breath for a count of four. Repeat if needed. Deep breathing increases the amount of oxygen to the brain, stabilizes blood pressure and is a stress reliever.

Other ideas for improved mental health include meditation, sitting still, and other activities to quiet the mind such as hiking, fishing, or a hobby you enjoy.

Read the whole story at ACT’s website by clicking here.

April 26, 2022

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