How a crane operator with a fear of heights gets his job done

Steve Lancaster, who starts each workday with a 280-foot journey straight up in the air and stays there until quittin...

Posted: May 15, 2018 3:06 PM
Updated: May 15, 2018 3:06 PM

Steve Lancaster, who starts each workday with a 280-foot journey straight up in the air and stays there until quitting time, is afraid of heights.

It's a fear that six years as a crane operator haven't been able to cure, but it matters less than one might think once he's situated in the operator's cab overlooking Cincinnati every morning.

"It's kind of neat, you know, looking out and seeing all the old churches and buildings," he said.

Lancaster's daily ascent to the top of the tower crane is part of an ongoing construction project in Downtown Cincinnati. The end result, he said, will be a brand new 18-story building with a parking garage, a Kroger at street level and apartments the rest of the way up.

The work it will take to get there involves him using the crane to pour a lot of concrete.

The tools of Lancaster's trade are simple: Heaters and fans to keep the windows of his cab clear; window cleaner; an air conditioner; binoculars; and a radio to keep in touch with his coworkers on the ground below. "Ground guys" help Lancaster keep his large-scale job precise, he said.

"It makes a big difference if you've got a good ground guy," he said. "You can see (from up here), but you can't focus right in. He's my eyes, so that makes a big difference. That helps a bunch, especially on days when it's windy."

And although he still isn't a fan of the great height at which he works, Lancaster said having a panorama view of the city can be useful.

"I know which way to go home," he said. "It helps. Trust me."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
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Forrest383186
Jones357688
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Washington3179107
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Marshall217250
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Monroe198177
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Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
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Pike162658
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Scott154829
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Simpson148353
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Marion116646
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Chickasaw107632
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Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
Walthall76928
Calhoun75513
Montgomery74525
Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
Yalobusha71327
Noxubee71017
Perry67026
Tunica61019
Greene60322
Claiborne58616
Jefferson Davis57017
Amite54014
Humphreys53619
Benton49318
Quitman4927
Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
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