Attendees at the final ECOL working group meeting at BMS in Copenhagen, Denmark

Attendees at the final ECOL working group meeting at BMS in Copenhagen, Denmark

In the run-up to the launch of ESTA’s new European Crane Operators Licence scheme its finished structure is taking shape.

International lifting and heavy transport specialist Sarens has applied to qualify its Belgian training facility. The move is another big boost for the ECOL scheme due for a formal launch in the second quarter of 2019. To date, two European training facilities have become ECOL qualified – Mammoet in the Netherlands and EUC-Lillebǣlt from Denmark - with a further six at different stages in the qualifying process.

“For an international company like Sarens, ECOL is a very important project, and we want to be involved and support it,” said Stijn Sarens, the company’s key account manager and ESTA Secretary.

“Standards of crane operator training are hugely variable across Europe. ECOL will help to raise those standards to a common level. It will make the industry safer and more efficient, allowing properly qualified crane operators to work more easily in different countries throughout the EU and beyond.”

Sarens added, “That will be good for the operators, good for companies like Sarens and good for our clients.”

ESTA said the future ECOL management team is almost complete as the project nears its formal launch. The final meeting of the current ECOL Working Group took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the end of January.

The voluntary group, chaired by ESTA Director Ton Klijn, has been responsible for driving the project from its inception. It will now be superceded by the ECOL Foundation comprising a tri-partite permanent management structure featuring a Supervisory Board, a Management Board and an Expert Board.

The Supervisory Board will be chaired by Ton Klijn who will be joined by trade union representative René van der Steen from Het Zwarte Corps in the Netherlands and Steve Filipov, Terex Cranes president.

Confirmed members of the Expert Board to date are:


Fraser Cocks – BCACS, Canada

Kim Hvolbøl – DKF, Denmark

Erik Kroes – Mammoet, Netherlands

Pia Metsola – INFRA, Finland

Lion Verhagen – VVT, Netherlands

Paul Zepf – VDMA, Germany

Norbert van Schaik – Siemens-Gamesa, Germany

Kim Poulsen – EUC – Lillebǣlt, Denmark.


Members of the Management Board are expected to be announced soon.

In the photo are: Edward Janssens, Mammoet; Kristian Hersløv, Norwegian Crane Association; Paul Zepf, VDMA; Christoph Behmueller, Liebherr/VDMA; Fraser Cocks, BCACS; Giovanni Pauwels, Vereniging van Belgische Kraanverhuurders; Kim Poulsen, EUC-Lillebælt; Pia Metsola, INFRA; Alexandre Pinheiro, Montalgrua; Kim Hvolbøl, Danish Crane Association; Marlene Collaço, Montalgrua; Norbert van Schaik, Siemens-Gamesa; Ton Klijn, ESTA director; Caroline van Geest, ESTA office manager; Jörg Senn, ASTAG.

Working Group members unable to attend the Copenhagen meeting were: Lion Verhagen, VVT; Peter Brown, CPA; Philip Grootenboer, Mammoet; René van der Steen, Het Zwarte Corps; Timo Feuerbach, BSK; Paolo Cremonini, ANNA; Knut Nordås, Norwegian Crane Association; and Alexandre-Jacques Vernazza, UFL.



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