The role of BYDA for crane operators

The role of crane operators in construction is crucial for many projects, as is their commitment to safety. Before You Dig Australia (BYDA) is an essential safety partner for crane operators. BYDA provides a broad service to mitigate risks and identify utility infrastructure to create a safe working environment.

Understanding the risks

Crane operations pose risks to utility infrastructure, and the awareness of these risks is crucial. Potential hazards include falling loads, unintended contact with structures and powerlines and tipping or rolling over. There is also a risk of compacting or crushing underground infrastructure due to excessive vehicle weights. The BYDA service is free and allows you to identify the utility infrastructure on your job site. This helps you work through the appropriate steps to ensure you and the team don’t cause damage or harm.

Your safety is our priority

BYDA is committed to supporting safety on construction sites when it comes to working in close proximity to utility infrastructure. As a crane operator, you have an important role in ensuring a secure working environment. Holding the appropriate High-Risk Work (HRW) license is non-negotiable, and so is using the right crane for the job. But what often gets missed is the need to do a BYDA search for the job site. This is to identify underground assets that need to be included in your risk assessment. You should also check the Look Up and Live app for the above-ground powerlines.

Responsibilities and collaboration are a collective effort

The responsibility for safety goes beyond individual crane operators. Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) and Principal Contractors (PC) have a duty under Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws to create and maintain a safe work environment. This includes thorough pre-operation activities, appropriate site conditions, and identifying underground services through the BYDA plans.

Crane suppliers also share the responsibility. Adequate planning, safe systems of work, and crane suitability for the job. BYDA strongly recommends you, as a crane operator, complete a search on the BYDA services, including the Look Up and Live app for the job site, to identify the utility risks and keep these records as part of your own risk assessment process.

Your roadmap to safety

Did you know that Safe Work Australia provides a comprehensive guide to inspecting and maintaining cranes to facilitate a systematic approach to safety? The guide is designed for any individual or organisation involved in the operation, inspection, and maintenance of cranes. and it covers crucial aspects such as safety considerations, regulatory compliance, and best practices. The guide is a valuable tool for identifying potential issues or risks and ensuring compliance with relevant legislation, standards, and Codes of Practice.

Fines and legal implications

The consequences of neglecting safety are significant. On-the-spot fines of up to $3,600 for businesses and $720 for individuals may be issued for inadequate protection of workers, especially when working at heights or undertaking high-risk work activities without the appropriate licenses. If you damage utility infrastructure, you may also face fines under the relevant state electricity and gas acts and repair costs to the utility owner.

Embracing a culture of safety for experienced and new operators

Whether experienced or new, Crane operators play a pivotal role in fostering a safety culture. New operators require support through supervision, ongoing training, and mentoring to build and maintain their skills. It’s a shared responsibility — if you’re new, seek support; if you’re experienced, support your team by sharing your knowledge, including how to use the BYDA services – they are free and easy to use!

Connect, communicate, collaborate is the path to moving forward

As we venture into 2024, let’s prioritise safety and collaboration. BYDA invites crane operators and stakeholders to connect, communicate, and collaborate for a safer, more secure working environment. Our services are free and easy to use. You can find BYDA’s services at and Plus, we offer free toolbox talks on topics including how to read and interpret utility plans.

In the space of crane operations, safety is non-negotiable. Improve your commitment to safety by using BYDA’s free services for working around utility infrastructure, helping to keep you, your team, and the community safe.