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Crane chaser (dogger)

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Summary of occupation

Crane chasers, often referred to as doggers attach and direct the movements of loads handled by cranes when the crane operator may be unable to see the load or its destination. They check the size, shape and weight of loads to plan the safest way to attach and move them, while ensuring that loads do not exceed the lifting capacity of the crane. Once a load is safely attached to the crane, doggers use hand signals, whistles or two-way radios to communicate with crane operators to guide the load and warn of people and other obstacles that may cross its path. Doggers are also responsible for inspecting slings, chains, ropes, cables, hooks and other lifting equipment for signs of wear and damage, such as cracks, tears and rust.

ANZSCO description: Slings cranes and winches, and directs the movement of loads ensuring loads do not exceed lifting capacities.
Alternative names: Dogger
Specialisations: Dogman/woman, Slinger
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A dogger needs:

  • the ability to judge distances and weights
  • good hearing and eyesight
  • to be physically fit
  • good verbal communication skills
  • to be comfortable working at heights
  • an awareness of safety issues
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Working conditions

The majority of doggers in Western Australia work on large construction projects in the Perth metropolitan region, however opportunities exist throughout the state. While most doggers work outdoors on construction sites, some may also work on ships and docks, in factories or at mine sites. Construction sites can be potentially hazardous work environments, requiring strict safety procedures to be followed to minimise risks. Depending on the specific work site, doggers may sometimes be required to work evenings and weekends.

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Salary details

On average, doggers, classified under other construction and mining labourers, can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Doggers may use chains, ropes, slings, cables, clamps and/or hooks to attach loads to cranes. They may need to know how to tie a range of knots, in order to securely fasten a load without causing damage to or weakening ropes or straps. In some cases they also use padding to cover sharp corners and edges of a load. Two-way radios are often used to communicate with crane operators, especially when the operator is unable to see the load or its destination. Doggers must also wear protective clothing, which may include hard hats, protective boots, safety glasses, ear protection and high visibility clothing.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To work as a dogger in Western Australia, you must obtain a High Risk Work Licence issued by WorkSafe.

In order to be issued a High Risk Work Licence, you must be at least 18 years old and complete a training program conducted by registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The dogger traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete.

Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a "white card"). In Western Australia, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by WorkSafe.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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