Every construction project comes with its own set of challenges. When it comes to moving steel at a construction site, things can often go wrong, which can lead to disastrous accidents. A competent crane operator, coupled with safety instrumentation, can minimize the risks of things going south, but it’s essential to learn about the pitfalls to plan safe lifting operations.
Here are the three most significant dangers when moving steel at a construction site:
Fall is arguably the biggest risk during a critical lift or moving heavy steel material that can lead to monetary loss due to material damage, and may endanger workers’ safety. While the control zones near the swing radius can significantly reduce the risk to human lives, it’s crucial to take measures to prevent such a situation in the first place.
Fall incidents can be avoided by using properly maintained crane equipment. Hiring a skilled crane operator with a solid understanding of proper load handling can also minimize the risk of such a situation. A competent operator uses safety instrumentation and accounts for different shapes and sizes of heavy steel loads to ensure safety during the lift operations.
Operations involving lifting heavy steel components often require multiple cranes and a large area. There is a significant risk of a crane’s boom, hoist, or any metal part coming in contact with high-voltage power lines when moving steel components. In such an instance, workers who come in direct contact with the crane, including the crane operator, can get electrocuted. Moreover, it can also put the lives of workers and personnel nearby in jeopardy.
Load management plays a significant role in the safe lift operations of steel components. Overloading the crane with heavy material can potentially result in the tipping of the crane and lead to a catastrophic accident. Ideally, the weight of the load should be lower than recommended in the manufacturer’s manual to minimize the chances of the incident.
A crane operator should use an advanced load indicator system to make sure the weight of the steel components is under the maximum weight capacity threshold. Furthermore, the operator should evaluate weather conditions, like wind speed, using a wind speed indicator, particularly when lifting steel girders, to ensure they don’t get caught in wind gusts.
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