Crane operator qualifications

Permits and notifications - Crane operator qualifications

The operation of the following cranes in Finland requires a relevant vocational qualification or an applicable part of a qualification:  

  • mobile crane with a lifting capacity in excess of 5 tonnes
  • tower crane with a load moment in excess of 25 tonne-metres
  • loading crane with a load moment in excess of 25 tonne-metres which is primarily designed for other use than loading or unloading a vehicle.

A person with a relevant vocational qualification, an applied part of a qualification and persons who have been granted permissions due to recognition of a qualification or a site-specific permission application is allowed to work as a crane operator in Finland. In addition, the work of a crane operator may be performed by persons who have received permission by way of recognition of foreign qualifications or a site-specific derogation permit application.

Recognition of qualifications and site-specific permits can be requested from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland (later from the Occupational Health and Safety Authority). The processing time of a site-specific derogation permit depends on the quality and content of the application. Usually a derogation permit application is processed within four weeks of the arrival of the application. An application regarding the recognition of qualifications is resolved within four months from the submission of the required documents.

More information on the crane operator's vocational qualification on the webpage Machines and equipment > Driver competence (in Finnish).

Applying for a site-specific derogation permission

A derogation from the crane operator’s qualification requirements can be made by applying for a site-specific derogation permit. The grounds for a site-specific derogation permit must be based on a reason of occupational safety for use of a crane operator who does not have a relevant vocational qualification or an applicable part of a qualification. Such cases include, among others, cases where the work performance requires special skills, such as installations of wind turbines, and the work requires communications in a common language between the crane operator and the installation team.

The form Application for a site-specific permission to operate a crane can be used when applying for a permission (pdf). The application must be submitted as a letter or per e-mail to the OSH Division at the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland. The contact information: Contact us > Southern Finland.

Please include the following information in your application:

  • information on the crane operator (date of birth, nationality, a copy of the crane driver certificate, an account on the crane driver training and its contents as well as the working history in regard of crane operations)
  • information on the general contractor
  • address of the construction site
  • duration of the work (date when the work starts and ends)
  • information on the crane in use
  • invoicing address.

When the requirements are met, the OSH Division of the Regional State Administrative Agency grants a permission for operating the crane for the duration of the construction site however. A handling fee of 200 € will be collected.

Requesting recognition of foreign qualifications

A person who has received a foreign qualification to operate a crane can apply for recognition of the foreign qualification. In the decision on recognising vocational qualifications, the Occupational Safety and Health Authority can set a requirement for the applicant to perform a qualification test or it can determine at maximum a three-year adjustment period. The processing of recognition of qualifications carries a handling fee of EUR 325.

As appendices to the application, the Occupational Safety and Health Authority can require translations of documents submitted in other languages than Finnish or Swedish. Usually the authorities require that the translations are in Finnish or Swedish and that they have been translated by an authorised translator.

Approval of recognition of foreign qualifications can be applied with the adjacent application form: Application for recognition of foreign vocational qualifications. The application must be submitted as a letter or per e-mail to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland; whose addresses can be found on the web page Contact us > Southern Finland.

Please include the following information in your application:

  • information on the crane operator (date of birth, nationality, a copy of the crane driver certificate, an account on the crane driver training and its contents as well as the working history in regard of crane operations)
  • invoicing address.

Permits and notifications - Site-specific crane operator permission - Lainsäädäntö