What do Hoist and Winch Operators do?

Operate or tend hoists or winches to lift and pull loads using power-operated cable equipment.

  • Move levers, pedals, and throttles in order to stop, start, and regulate speeds of hoist or winch drums in response to hand, bell, buzzer, telephone, loud-speaker, or whistle signals, or by observing dial indicators or cable marks.
  • Start engines of hoists or winches and use levers and pedals to wind or unwind cable on drums.
  • Observe equipment gauges and indicators and hand signals of other workers in order to verify load positions and/or depths.
  • Operate compressed air, diesel, electric, gasoline, or steam-driven hoists or winches in order to control movement of cableways, cages, derricks, draglines, loaders, railcars, or skips.
  • Move or reposition hoists, winches, loads and materials, manually or using equipment and machines such as trucks, cars, and hand trucks.
  • Select loads or materials according to weight and size specifications.
  • Signal and assist other workers loading or unloading materials.
  • Attach, fasten, and disconnect cables or lines to loads, materials, and equipment, using hand tools.
  • Apply hand or foot brakes and move levers to lock hoists or winches.
  • Oil winch drums so that cables will wind smoothly.
  • Climb ladders in order to position and setup vehicle-mounted derricks.
  • Repair, maintain, and adjust equipment, using hand tools.
  • Tend auxiliary equipment such as jacks, slings, cables, or stop blocks, in order to facilitate moving items or materials for further processing.

Related Jobs (Hoist and Winch Operators)

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Necessary Skills

  • Critical Thinking
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Monitoring
  • Time Management
  • Active Listening
  • Coordination
  • Operation and Control
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Speaking

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