A day in the life of a crane operator
Climbing a 40m to 50m-long ladder to a suspended steel box every day is no joke.
But that is just the beginning of a crane operator's daily job.
The hours are long, with shifts of between 12 and 14 hours long, spent cooped up in a cramped cabin the size of a car's driver seat.
Mr Leo Ong, 50, the managing director of Leo Ong Construction, often takes up the job on his own tower crane when he is short of workers as he has a crane operating licence too.
"Being in the cabin is exhausting work. Operators spend the whole day up there and are allowed to come down only when their shift is over," he said.
Most crane cabins do not have air conditioning and on hot days, operators may suffer minor heatstroke if they do not hydrate themselves.
The job is both physically and mentally tiring as great concentration has to be put into operating the crane.
Operators usually take their meals up the crane when they start work.
Mr Ong said: "Sometimes, we provide lunch for the workers and send it up via a delivery system."
At 15 storeys above the ground, going to the toilet can be a issue and operators relieve themselves in a plastic bottle they take with them each day.
Some of the worst days for operators are when they suddenly develop stomach aches or feel discomfort while in the cabin.
"The cabin is also not very clean. I once had an employee who was bitten by a bug while up there," he said.
But that is not the worst part of the job. Mr Ong said: "Being up there alone for such a long time with nobody to talk to can really bore someone out."
- Colin Tham