Crane alarms are used as warning devices allowing people in the vicinity to be aware of operational activity in the area. You can rely on both audible and visual alarms for industry safety, minimizing the chances of collisions or accidents. For example, crane alarms have a distinct sound that is hard not to notice. The visual alarms also create unique light patterns, indicating others of crane-related activity.
These alarms are highly useful and can be used for indoor and outdoor cranes. If pedestrians are walking near crane operation zones, they are alerted to overhead crane activity so they can be extra careful. For example, if cranes are carrying and moving heavy cargo, it could fall onto the people below. Therefore, alarms must be noticeable to everyone as a safety requirement to ensure process safety.
Let's explore how audible and visual crane alarms are used in the industry.
Choosing the Best Alarm for Overhead Cranes
OSHA has made it mandatory to use audible and visual alarms for operational safety. Their user differs in each situation and crane type, allowing operators to pay closer attention to their actions.
Before crane operators begin their work, they can use their chosen warning devices to alert staff of crane activity. Although cranes are unlikely to cause any problems if they are maintained and inspected regularly, it is still advisable to prioritize safety.
Choosing between audible and visual alarms depends on your activity and environment. If you're working in a noisy environment, your alarm may not be as effective as in a quiet environment. For this reason, using a visual alarm that is easier to notice and ensures worker safety is more suitable. On the other hand, if your facility is brightly lit up, a visual alarm may not be effective. In such cases, an audible alarm will be easier to hear and respond to, alerting staff of any activities.
If you've decided on an audible device, you must follow some requirements to ensure it's loud enough. For example, the sound must be at least 100 decibels to ensure it is heard by staff nearby. Depending on your facility's safety regulations, the sound may need to be louder to ensure it is heard from further away. Process safety is a complex field of study, and the crane industry considers various factors, such as ambient noise levels.
Let's explore some ways to use an audible/visual alarm.
1. Use Appropriate Lights for Visual Alarms
When using a visual alarm for crane-related activity, choosing one with distinguishable lights is helpful. Depending on the environment, you may choose bright or dull lights, which are used to give warnings. These lights must also be placed correctly to ensure they are visible to operators and staff members. An orange light may not be appropriate for sunny days. However, if the crane is operational at night, any bright color will be easily noticed by everyone.
2. Place Your Audible and Visual Alarms in the Right Place
The purpose of warning devices is to alert passersby of crane activities. These alarms must be mounted in the right locations to ensure they are heard and seen by workers nearby.
Crane operators must be trained to monitor their alarms and ensure they are turned on during their shifts. Employers must go the distance to ensure all rules and regulations are being followed for using a warning device on their cranes. OSHA has a list of rules for different states, allowing crane manufacturers and owners to utilize the appropriate safety measures.
3. Use Lights in Loud Environments and Sound in Bright Facilities
Using lights in loud environments and sound in bright facilities is fairly obvious. But you'd be surprised to know how often this has been overlooked in the industry. If your workers cannot hear the crane due to other operational activities in the area, they will not know of any hazards or risks nearby.
This increases the odds of a collision or accident occurring, reducing the workers' safety. However, this is why two types of alarms exist for all warning devices. Bright lights work best in loud and dark environments. However, they also have utility during the daytime, provided the appropriate colors are chosen. At the end of the day, there are strict rules and recommendations. As an industry expert, you must use your critical thinking to make the best decision for your facility.
For example, visual alarms may be ineffective if there are too many blinking machine lights in your facility. Constantly evaluate your operational safety with your head of department will to make new changes that promote your workers' on-site safety.
Crane Warning Systems Atlanta delivers high-end RaycoWylie products, parts, and systems for the crane instrumentation industry. It is an established company that has built its name from the ground up and has achieved remarkable results in promoting process safety.
It has a range of products, such as crane indicators, crane wind speed detectors, and crane systems. The RI47 and R140 warning systems are suitable for various crane applications. Contact them today to order the warning system you prefer.