The terms dogger and rigger can sometimes be used interchangeably, although there are some key differences between the roles. In Western Australia the two roles are merged into the same qualification.
A dogger (or crane chaser) works with a crane operator to sling and direct loads safely and efficiently on construction sites while constantly inspecting the lifting gear to ensure the job is completed safely. They make decisions on what type of slinging or lifting equipment is required by looking at the nature of the load, it’s mass and center of gravity, and how to sling a load that is freely suspended by any type of crane. As they are sometimes working out of the view of crane operators, they communicate using hand signals, whistles, and two-way radios to warn of obstacles or people that may cross its path.
Riggers perform the same duties that doggers perform however they possess advanced rigging techniques using ropes, pulleys, cables, chains, and other gear to move a heavy load from one place to another.This job is highly specialised, using equipment specially designed for moving, lifting and positioning machinery or gear weighing hundreds of tons.
Certificate III in Rigging
Residential / Civil / Commercial / Resources
What might a working day look like?
Every day is different and varies depending on the job but you may be involved in:
- Directing and guiding crane operators when lifting and lowering loads into position
- Estimating the size, shape, weight and centre of gravity of loads to make sure the lifting capacity of the crane is not exceeded.
- Attaching lifting devices to hoisting equipment and loads to be moved using bolts,knots and different slinging techniques
- Selecting appropriate slings and other grappling devices with chains, ropes, cables, pulleys, clamps, hooks, and covering sharp corners with padding to prevent damage
- Using hand signals, whistles or two-way radios when the load(or its destination) is not visible to crane or winch operators
- Inspecting chains, slings, ropes, cables, hooks and lifting gear for flaws and damage such as cracks, wear, rust, mildew and corrosion, and reporting defects
- Complying with strict safety policies at all times and wearing personal protective equipment such as hard hats, protective boots, safety glasses, ear protection and high visibility clothing.
- Erecting cranes or mobile crane booms and increasing the height of tower cranes by fixing component parts in place with rigging cables or bolts.
- Erecting structural steel for buildings or plants under construction
Working hours & conditions
- Mostly outdoor work on construction sites but can sometimes include work on ships, docks, factories or mine sites
- Some evening or weekend work may be required
- Generally full-time hours or on a contract basis
- Early starts with frequent travel between sites
Skills and personal qualities
- Enjoy working outdoors in varied work environments
- Have good concentration and coordination skills with an ability to follow verbal instructions accurately
- Visually judge distances well
- Enjoy hands on practical work and have good manual skills
- Decent level of physical fitness to be able to work at heights
- Strong awareness of safety procedures
- Able to work as part of a team
- Excellent communication skills and able to deliver instructions carefully and accurately
How to get started
To work as a dogger/rigger in Western Australia you must be over the age of 18. This is the minimum age to obtain High-Risk Working Licences and enter into a Cert III Rigging apprenticeship. Your training however can commence earlier if you are under the age of 18 where you can complete a white card or undergo safety induction training.
Future Pathways and opportunities
- Crane Operator with further training