Hot Off Our Press

New Data: After COVID, biggest threat to crane industry is lack of talent pipeline

February 22, 2021
Hot Off Our Press | 4 minute read

ProSight survey shows that more than a quarter of respondents see ‘lack of qualified operators’ as the most serious risk facing the industry.


MORRISTOWN, N.J., February 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Following a year marred by the impact of COVID-19 on new construction and infrastructure projects nationwide, the Crane industry still anticipates the effects of the pandemic to be the biggest near-term challenge it faces. Perhaps surprisingly, however, there is another risk the industry sees on the horizon, and one that it considers to be an even worse safety risk than COVID.

According to a recent survey by ProSight Specialty Insurance, the biggest safety risk facing the Crane industry is a lack of qualified talent—particularly at the Crane Operator position. Talent was also tied for the second biggest business challenge for Crane companies over the next three years (along with Growth/New Business), behind only the pandemic.

“It’s no surprise that Crane companies are still feeling the effects of COVID on their businesses and that they likely will for some time. But this is something outside of their control,” said Jake Morin, Construction Value Creation Executive at ProSight. “Lack of qualified talent is a legitimate concern and the issue presents obvious safety and sustainability risks to the industry overall. The time for the industry to take action on its talent pipeline is now.”

ProSight’s survey, which was conducted at the end of 2020 among over 150 crane industry professionals, found that while 26% of respondents viewed COVID as the biggest industry challenge, a lack of “Qualified Talent” was the seen as the next biggest challenge (9%) over the next 1-3 years.

However, when asked about the most serious safety risks facing the industry, 27% of respondents identified lack of talent, particularly among operators, as the biggest concern. Equipment Issues (15%) and On-the-job Accidents (13%) rounded out the top three safety risks, with COVID identified by only 2% of respondents.

ProSight’s Niche Underwriting Manager for its Crane program, Joe Doerr, has personal experience with the industry’s talent pipeline issues. As a former crane operator, Joe has advocated strongly for increased training and safety protocols for operators and other construction professionals. But he also sees the need to balance this investment with additional recruitment efforts to attract the next generation of engineering talent to the industry.

“I’ve ‘sat in the cab,’ as they say, and I know firsthand the importance of having well-trained, experienced operators on the job. I also know that it can be a struggle for companies to find that ‘next generation’ of qualified talent,” said Doerr. “But the truth is operating a crane requires a tremendous amount of mechanical skill and understanding of numerous engineering principles. It can be an incredibly rewarding and enriching career path, and we need to come together to find ways to communicate the industry’s value to students and young professionals who otherwise wouldn’t pursue a career in construction.”

Click Here to download the ProSight 2021 Crane Survey Infographic.

To learn more about ProSight’s Crane program visit 

Methodology: Research was conducted via an online survey among 154 crane professionals without any affiliation to ProSight Specialty Insurance. The audience was defined through the use of LinkedIn demographics as crane rental owners, crane operators, riggers, equipment operators, or those having an affiliation with a crane member group. The survey ran from December 15-31, 2020.

About ProSight

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey, ProSight Global, Inc. is an innovative property and casualty insurance company that designs unique insurance solutions to help customers improve their business and realize value from their insurance purchasing decision. The company focuses on select niche industries, deploying differentiated underwriting and claims expertise with the goal of enhancing each customer’s operating performance.  ProSight’s products are sold through a limited and select group of retail and wholesale distribution partners.  Each of ProSight’s regulated insurance company subsidiaries are rated “A-” (Excellent) by A.M. Best. ProSight’s shares trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol PROS. To learn more about ProSight visit

Joe Hathaway
Corporate Communications Director