How To Ensure Safety While Working With Cranes

How To Ensure Safety While Working With Cranes


One of the most important pieces of equipment on construction projects is mobile cranes carrying out jobs that require large, heavy materials to be hoisted or moved. Mobile cranes do, however, cause the most accidents and injuries of all crane types, and owing to their power, size, and capabilities, it’s very important that it is used safely. Proper training and education can aid in reducing accidents and make any worksite safer as training employees who work with overhead cranes about all workplace safety precautions, being alert of high wind, performing daily operator checks, etc. are just some safety measures to ensure safe operation while using cranes.

Take Safety Precautions During Crane Operation

To make sure there is a safe working environment, following guidelines can be followed when operating an overhead crane:

  1. Move cranes in position when there are no workers
  2. Position the crane in a way that the boom/ bucket doesn’t swing over workers
  3. Post a traffic controller on crowded sites
  4. Make sure boom stops are kept in place to avoid the crane from flipping backward
  5. Barricade the swing area of the crane while clearly mark it with warning signs
  6. Shut the power line current off if possible, making repeated visual checks of your position with respect to power lines
  7. Avoid raising the boom too high
  8. Center the top block over the load to prevent load swinging
  9. Make sure you have enough counterweight to avoid tipping
  10. Turn the crane carefully and smoothly to keep the boom from twisting.

Be Alert For High Wind

Unexpected wind gusts can result disastrous on a mobile crane mid-lift. High winds can knock over a crane or lead load to be dropped. To reduce the chances of wind interfering, keeping regular checks on the crane load capacity charts for wind speed notes is important and lifts should be postponed if the wind is above 15-20 mph. 

Perform Daily Operator Checks

A crane operator needs to use a daily inspection checklist to make sure the used construction equipment is safe prior to commencing operation such as pre-start checks, engine start-up checks, and safety system checks.

  1. Pre-start checks: Before starting the crane, the operator should check tire condition, oil levels, air reservoir, battery etc.
  2. Engine start-up checks: Before daily work begins, operator should start the engine, and make sure to check the pressure gauge, fuel level, turn signals, suspension, brain system etc.
  3. Safety system checks: Safety system checks should be performed to avoid catastrophic accidents and the anti-two block, the rated capacity limiter, and the outriggers should be evaluated carefully.

Rig The Load Correctly

Proper rigging of loads allows prevention from objects falling and potentially striking workers on the site. A proper understanding of force, weight distributions, and rigging techniques by machinery traders ensure a safe, stable lift of the most irregular and heavy loads.

Manage Complex Lifts

Complex lifts are lifts that involve loads more than 80 percent of crane capacity — or greater than 50 percent of crane capacity for lifts on barges. It’s important to have a complex lift plan for such a scenario, as these pose the highest risk for tip-overs or equipment failure. Developing a comprehensive plan and following it closely while monitoring the situation for any necessary adjustments during the lift is a great way to tackle this.

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