Crane Safety: What You Need to Know

Hook of a mobile lifting crane on a construction site, capable of lifting 25 tons of load. Heavy duty machinery for heavy construction industry.

By: Jack Hudson

Operating cranes is a risky job that requires utter professionalism, care and due diligence. That is why when you set out to look for a crane rental company, you need to question the service provider on what safety crane operation measures they have put in place to protect your property, their workers and the public in general.

WM Services Crane & Rigging are among the few service providers in the crane rental business that take crane operation safety seriously. Having provided crane rental services in the United States for over 15 years now, WM Services has established itself as a reliable and professional crane rental company. This is both for providing reliable customer services and taking crane operation safety seriously.

In this segment, we will look at safety guidelines and tips that new crane operators ought to know;

1. Complete proper training
For all new crane operators, the most fundamental tip they should take home is never to operate a crane unless they have completed proper training which meets OSHA and ASME requirements. Studies show that 58 percent of injuries and deaths resulting from crane accidents involve crane operators. Therefore, crane rental companies should also be keen when hiring new crane operators.

2. Conduct a pre-operation inspection
Any day or time before the start of operation shift, conduct a pre-inspection of your crane. This inspection needs to be conducted by someone who is trained in what to look for. You should also have a checklist that enables you to stay up to date with the proper way of using, maintaining and operating your crane and other heavy equipment. The checklist enables you to go through the steps and procedures quickly and easily before and after each operational use. For example, this can include checking the hoist, examining the loading chain and inspecting hooks.

3. Never Overload
The reason why a crane has a lifting capacity is because it isn’t designed to handle weight that is beyond that limit. No matter how huge the temptation of lifting just a little extra load is, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as an operator when controlling a crane. According to OSHA, about 80% of all crane accidents occur when a crane operator exceeds the crane’s operational capacity. Overloading ends up with a swinging or dropping load which results in a fatal accident. As a company, ensure that your workers are using the right sized crane, sling and other equipment for the job at hand.

4. Never get complacent in routine operations
Almost two thirds of crane accidents happen during routine operations. Why? Because many crane operators get complacent or lax in following operating and crane safety procedures. As a crane operator, you should make it a tradition to always follow all safety procedures keenly.

5. Know where the power disconnect switch is for the runway
This is very important because, if a crane continues down the runway after you have released the radio button, you will be able to quickly walk to the switch and cut the power. This will stop the runway crane.

All in all, accidents can still happen even if all precautionary safety measures are taken into consideration. That is why it is important you know what to do in case there is a safety risk at your work site. Have your eyes out for potential accidents like overloaded lifts, unattended suspended loads and even workers without proper safety attire.

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