Updated: May 29, 2019
Large, overarching cranes are used to symbolize the construction industry due to their usefulness in lifting and carrying around huge amounts of weights. However, their size and power makes a serious hazard to operators and those in immediate surroundings. According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics (BLS), there were around 225 crane-related deaths from 2011 to 2015 which meant an average of 44 deaths per year over the 5-year period.
Crane accidents – while inevitable – are entirely avoidable provided everyone in the workplace follows a few, important safety standards. In this blog, we’ll share a few tips on how to prevent crane accidents and increase the level of worker safety.
Preventing Crane-Related Accidents
The majority of crane-related accidents are traced back to human error more so than technical faults or breakdowns. Negligence of safety procedures and a lack of maintenance were considerable factors behind a number of accidents. The following are a few basic steps that prove effective in lowering the probability of accidents.
Carry out a complete inspection: Carrying out routine maintenance before starting operations is the first and most crucial step of maximizing crane safety. It’s necessary to ensure proper functioning of all components. Both inexperienced and experienced operators are often surprised when they discover that the crane was pushed well beyond its limits and further negligence could have led to accidents or breakdowns.
Formulate a plan: Each lifting task is unique and requires workers to review all hazards, equipment integrity, load weight capacities, and the effects of wind, rain, temperature, etc. The riggers, workers, and operate must all be a part of the planning process as well.
Be aware of the ground conditions: Even the most powerful and carefully rigged crane is as stable and strong as the surface on which it stands. Maintaining proper balance requires a keen understanding of the material and soil under the crane. Equally important is the need to determine the proper load weight in relation to the conditions actively affecting the job site. Refer to the crane’s load chart to determine how safe your life will be.
Maintain communication at all times: Whether you rely on hand signals, radios, air horns, or any other method, there should always be clear lines of communication between the crane operator and other workers. This is especially crucial in environments where the operator has limited visibility. Establish a clear communication plan and ensure everyone abides by it.
Finally, staying alert and focused is necessary especially during difficult or critical lifts. Crane Warning Systems Atlanta has been providing crane safety systems for nearly two decades. They offer a range of safety equipment including ATB warning systems, camera systems, load indicators, and more. Contact us today for more information.