Mobile hydraulic cranes have transformed the landscape of the construction industry, making it easier and quicker than ever to complete large-scale projects. Nevertheless, rigging and lifting operations come with various health and safety hazards that can potentially result in worker injury, property damage, or even fatalities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, crane-related accidents led to a total of 220 fatalities in a period of 5 years, from 2005 to 2011—that’s 44 deaths per year. Therefore, adequate training and proper planning is a must for crane operations.
Over the course of this blog post, we’ll list and discuss three types of hazards that are associated with mobile crane operations.
The vast majority of crane-related accidents are caused by contact with power lines or some type of power source. Just a small miscalculation or a minor mistake when operating a crane around live power lines can have disastrous consequences.
While electrical hazards are the most prevalent cause behind crane-related mishaps and accidents, they’re also the easiest to prevent. To reduce the chances of crane accidents caused by electrical hazards, it’s important to start planning for the lift in advance – even before the crane has arrived on site. All potential safety hazards that fall within 10ft of the area where the lift will be performed should be identified and marked clearly. The project manager should also get in touch with the energy company catering to the area in question and have the power lines de-energized.
The reason why cranes are required in the first place is that the object is too heavy to be maneuvered in another way. This makes falling materials a real hazard during crane lifts, as the object will not only fall from a great height but is also likely to be extremely heavy.
There are various precautionary steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of falling hazards. These include:
Regular inspection and maintenance of equipment
Pre-lift safety checks to ensure that the load doesn’t exceed the maximum lifting capacity and is safely secured.
Up-to-date training for the crew and crane operators
Another common type of safety hazard associated with crane operations is overloading.
Overloading, in most cases, can be avoided through proper training and adequate planning. For instance, inappropriate operating maneuvers (i.e., dropping the load suddenly or swinging too fast) are a prevalent cause of overloading. You can prevent this by ensuring that your crew and operators fully understand the limits and capabilities of the machines they’re operating.
Here at Crane Warning Systems Atlanta, we sell technologically advanced Rayco Wylie crane safety instruments, including crane LMI system, crane load monitoring systems, and wireless crane anemometer, that enhance the safety and efficiency of lift operations. Get in touch with us today to learn more.