The CFOI recorded 297 total crane-related deaths between 2011 and 2017, indicating that, on average, 42 fatalities occurred every year during this seven-year period. Notably, 90% of all crane accidents are due to human error, so preventing them is possible with the right training and knowledge.
Being aware of the risks and taking efforts to decrease your risk is essential to guaranteeing your safety when using cranes or other lifting equipment. Here are some common hazards to be careful about:
Crane Overload and Boom Collapse
Overloading a crane might cause it to break down permanently. Around 45% of injuries associated with cranes are caused by boom collapses. It's crucial to ensure that only trained people are in charge of the cranes on your construction site so the cranes don't exceed their capacity.
When a weight exceeds the crane's carrying capacity, a properly-trained operator will know how to measure it. Workers using a crane with a load capacity of fewer than 2,000 pounds must get training from OSHA.
Contact with Overhead Power Lines
Working near live power lines puts crane operators and others at the job site in danger of electrocution and other serious injuries. Not surprisingly, non-electrical personnel is disproportionately affected by power line contact, which is a primary cause of worksite fatalities and serious injuries. Every year, over 450 workers in the US lose their lives due to electrocution at work.
OSHA advises that workers on construction sites maintain a 10-foot radial distance from overhead electric wires. So, it's important to find possible risk zones and advise operators and other personnel on how to avoid electrical hazards before using a crane on a construction site. Clearly highlight any areas that might be dangerous to avoid any misunderstandings and mishaps later.
For construction workers, falling loads are a regular and sometimes deadly hazard while using overhead cranes. At the very least, a falling weight can injure, kill, and cause substantial structural damage to structures and property. It will also take a considerable amount of time and money to fix this problem.
Lifting equipment such as an overhead crane may drop its load due to the following:
Two blocking: Hoist line components (i.e., hook blocks, load blocks, and overhaul balls) that touch each other can cause two blocking. When two blocking happens, line tension increases, which can lead to collapsing loads or crane parts.
Slipping: When loads aren't adequately secured, they might fall over.
Mechanical malfunction: Regular inspections, repairs, and maintenance can greatly minimize the risk of equipment failure if they are performed by a qualified individual.
Mistakes made by the operator: You need to make sure that your staff gets the training they need to do their jobs effectively and responsibly.
A crane's ability to operate safely might be jeopardized by inclement weather. To keep accidents to a minimum, operators should be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions.
Here are some weather conditions that might impair lifting operations:
Strong winds: Strong winds can tip over a crane and lead to a potentially fatal injury. Also, remember that as you go higher in altitude, the wind speed increases.
Rain: Heavy rain can damage equipment and slow down the crane's vital sections.
Lightning: Overhead cranes are particularly vulnerable to lightning strikes. A bolt of lightning can ruin machinery. Make sure that the crane is safe to operate when the lightning has subsided.
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