LEEA's Global Lifting Awareness Day logo 2023


It’s inspiring to be working in an industry supported by organisations like LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association). Only by focusing closely on our people, can we be sure that heavy lifting best practice becomes an everyday action on every site and project. GLAD2023 is an ideal opportunity to put the spotlight on one of our people in particular – Nigel Lindley.

Osprey is a family business, through and through. On the one hand, that means we’re independent; we can invest in assets and projects that are meaningful to us. On the other, it means we’re quietly more than just a little bit proud of the ‘people focus’ reputation we’ve built up over the years. Nigel is one of our most experienced crane operators, having started in the industry at the tender age of 16. As today is Global Lifting Awareness Day, we asked him – and his wife, Isobel – to explain what it means to be working in the heavy-lift industry today.

Nigel Lindley on Osprey's CC3800 crane

“It’s exhausting, it’s hard work – and I wouldn’t change it for the world.” Nigel has been in the construction industry all his working life. He started as an excavator operator, then from 22RB crawlers and smaller mobile cranes he worked his way up through 50s, 90s, 100s, 200s, and 500s to the next generation of machines we see today, such as our new 650-tonne Demag CC3800-1. It’s a career path he’s proud of, although he appreciates it’s not for everyone. His wife, Isobel, feels the same way.

Isobel: “Being married to a heavy crane operator isn’t for the faint hearted! We’ve been together 34 years now, and the reality is, it’s a job that does eat into your time as a family. It takes determination to cope with some of the project schedules, especially when they’re as big as the ones Osprey work on. I must be honest, there’ve been some milestones we’ve had to juggle – like birthdays, anniversaries and important days for our boys – because mega constructors don’t always put school sports days into their calendar.

Nigel and Isobel Lindley selfie

“Honestly though, you do get through it, and although it seems strange, it’s just such a rewarding way to be together. Every day, I can see how important Nigel’s career is to him, and how much value he gets personally from being able to show he’s got a really strong work ethic. When Nigel’s at work – it’s not hard to stay in touch. It used to be much harder. And the reality is, Nigel has two families. There’s ours – me and our grown-up boys, but then there’s also his work family too. Sometimes, we’re not even in the same country! That may sound like it’s a negative thing, but our family is really happy, because it’s heavy cranes that are a huge part of what makes him tick. They’re a way of life, not just a job. What’s the saying about old dogs – they’re for life, not just for Christmas, and it’s the same with heavy cranes. And I know, because he’s always very keen to tell me, that when everyone comes together on the big projects, they really do spend most of their waking hours working on things to get them done properly.”

Our Operations and QHSE (Quality, Health and Safety, and Environment) Director, Dean Graham: “It doesn’t matter where we work or who we work for, the team at Osprey give the same levels of commitment to each other, and to the projects they’re working on, at all times. We deliver a quality service and H&S is at its core. By working as a team, sharing knowledge and experience, we are nurturing the next generation of heavy lift experts. We have a talented team at Osprey, and it is people like Nigel that are shaping our trainees to ensure we continue to deliver a first-rate service.”

That attitude – all pitching in, working very closely together – is what Nigel thrives on: “Working on some of the UK’s biggest projects, I’ve met some amazing people – I’ve been very privileged to work with some of the industry’s biggest names and to learn something from every one of them. It’s good to learn something new every day, either about yourself or the job we’re working on. I’d encourage anyone who wants a challenge to take another look at a career in heavy lifting. It’s not just a job, it’s something you can really take pride in – you and your family.”

Ospreys CC3800 crane working at HPC

Accreditations and memberships

ISO 9001 logo certificate for Osprey

ISO 14001 Badge for Osprey

QMS ISO 45001 Logo Certificate for Osprey

CPA Collective Mark logo for Osprey

Constructionline Gold Member logo for Osprey

CHAS Accredited Contractor logo for Osprey

LEEA Associate Member Logo for Osprey

RISQS Railway Verified logo for Osprey

ROSPA Award 2022 presented to Osprey

Fit For Offshore Renewables status awarded to Osprey.

Supported by Offshore Wind Growth Partnership logo for Osprey.

Global Underwater Hub Member Logo

logo showing that Osprey is an associate member of CECA Midlands

Logo showing that Osprey is a member of NOF

Osprey is a member of the NIA; the Nuclear Industry Association.

Logo showing that Osprey is a member of BIFA

Logo showing that Osprey is part of Energi Coast