Prevent Crane Accidents with These 9 Safety Tips

According to statistics, there are at least 42 crane-related deaths recorded every year in the US. This includes people of different genders, ethnicities, and ages.

Cranes are colossal and powerful devices, and while they are extremely useful and are incredibly convenient for various jobs, they can be very complex to operate. They require expertise, precision, and a lot of focus. The slightest mistake or a minor oversight can result in fatal damage.

Here are a few safety tips that should be observed while operating cranes.

Only Trained Personnel Should Operate

Cranes are massive structures and can be quite complex to operate, which is why only trained, and qualified personnel should be allowed to operate them. In fact, there are OSHA restrictions that outline this exact regulation.

From choosing the correct crane for the job to setting it up, rigging and signaling, everything has to be done precisely in order for it to be safe.

Regular Inspections of The Equipment

Cranes are usually used for heavy lifting and loading operations. The overall usage is intense, which means the crane’s equipment needs to be regularly checked and maintained to ensure it operates correctly and safely.

These daily or weekly inspections could involve checking the oil levels, tire wear and tear, seat belts, battery, pressure gauge, fuel, horn, turn signals, and other important functions to ensure that everything is in working order.

Ensure the Area Is Clear Before Operating

Clearing the area means that everything and anything that could come in the way of the crane’s operations should be removed. This could mean people, i.e., those working on the ground or other physical obstacles or even wires or powerlines that are in the way should be taken care of prior to the crane’s travel.

In fact, nobody should be working in the crane’s work zone during that time. Additionally, a safety regulation requires cranes to be away from power lines of up to 50,000 volts.

Read the Manual to Ensure All Safety Requirements Are Met

Cranes from different manufacturers have different systems and controls. Therefore, every new operator will have to go through the manual to ensure that they know how everything works.

Not only will the manual give the operator much-needed information about all the controls and features, but it will also tell them important things like load capacities, counterweights and stabilizers, and safety mechanisms.

Don’t Rush the Task

One way to ensure that complete safety protocol is followed is to allow adequate time for its operations. This will also help in avoiding haste during the project.

A lot of accidents are simply caused by rush and carelessness in an attempt to meet deadlines. Therefore, workers need to have enough time to make sure that they don’t have to hurry through the job and can take the time to carefully follow all safety protocols and complete inspections before they operate the crane.

Take Load Radius into Consideration

Understanding the load radius is a critical step towards knowing how much weight a crane can manage safely. There is a lot of physics involved in crane operations, and load radius is one of the concepts that help a lot. Simply put, it explains that the further the load is from the crane’s center, the more weight it can carry; if it exceeds the limits, there is a risk of it tipping over.

Furthermore, the angle of the boom may affect the load radius in certain cranes. When the angle is higher, the load is closer to the centerline, but it can carry more weight. But if the angle is lower, it’s vice versa.

Load Limits Should Not Be Taken Lightly

Most newer cranes have indicators for load limits, but in general, all crane operators should make it a practice to read load charts before a lift.

Load charts have important information that should be considered, such as rotation and load radius; there are different columns covering different possibilities. Operators should always double-check to see if they are viewing the right column.

Communication Is Key

There is a complete standard communication protocol that exists, and it consists of important hand signals that crane operators can use to communicate with the personnel on the ground.

This is a comprehensive set of signals that can help convey important information to the crane operator, such as the direction for travel, timing the swing and lift operations, lowering the load, or alerting in case of an emergency that requires operations to be halted.

Invest in Crane Warning Systems

Given that cranes are extremely risky to use, most modern ones come with a lot of safety equipment like crane capacity indicators, crane anemometers, load indicators, and much more.

These crane safety systems and gears go a long way in preventing crane accidents and help to make the entire job much safer for everybody on site.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to invest in these systems but make sure to buy only the highest quality equipment as this is literally a matter of life and death in some cases.

Head over to Crane Warning Systems Atlanta to learn more about their crane safety systems and products.

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Written by Edward Grey

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