There's no question that cranes have become a mainstay of construction and industrial worksites. These powerful machines are some of the most essential equipment found at any worksite, logistics hub, or production facility. A multitude of industries relies upon them for the completion of critical tasks and for maintaining optimal operational efficiency.
But, while cranes have become an ever-present sight on worksites and we pretty much take them for granted, it doesn't mean we can ignore the hazards that are associated with them. If operated responsibly and safely, cranes can be crucial pieces of equipment. However, if used carelessly, they can pose a significant safety hazard.
The most recent crane-related accident data from the BLS dates back to the year 2006 when 72 people lost their lives in crane accidents. The really jarring fact about crane-related accidents is that the majority of them are caused by human error and can be avoided.
Keeping that in mind, here are three tips that'll help you crane operation safety.
Make Sure That Only Qualified Personnel are Operating the Equipment
Just like most other purpose-made, heavy-duty machinery, cranes require specialized skills and knowledge for safe operations. Therefore, one critical element of lifting and rigging operations is to ensure that the workers who're involved in the operation have the right training and certifications. In addition to knowing the equipment inside and out, crane operators should also have a thorough understanding of all the safety procedures and protocols.
Both the Equipment and the Load Should Be Thoroughly Inspected before the Lift is Performed
Operators and project managers must perform a thorough, meticulous inspection of the crane and the equipment before operations commence. This includes a comprehensive visual inspection of the booms and the cables for any signs of wear. If any component appears to be worn or damaged, it needs to be taken out of service and either repaired or replaced. Moreover, it's also essential to ensure that the load is secured correctly and is within the crane's maximum rated capacity.
Make Sure the Ground Staff is Well Clear of the Area beneath the Load When It's Being Lifted
A safe worksite is every business owner's top priority and responsibility. The ground staff should be properly trained on keeping a safe perimeter around the lift area at all times, and the safety protocols should be reiterated and reinforced before every job.