Overhead Crane Safety Guidelines You Must Follow To Keep Your Workers Safe
The terms overhead cranes and gantry cranes are often used interchangeably. However, they’re not necessarily the same.
A gantry crane is mostly used for cargo operations and applications in port yards. The overhead crane, on the other hand, is used for material lifting in the warehouses and construction sites. The overhead crane’s bridge runs longitudinally, since the rails are located on each of its sides. This allows it to operate on an elevated runway system, along the length of the entire building.
Here are some important guidelines to deal with overhead cranes safely:
Test your lifting equipment
A major component of your lifting equipment are the hoisting cables and ropes. Years of use, lack of maintenance and excessive wear can cause these ropes to weaken. As a result, the ropes may break down unexpectedly or when they’re overloaded. Ideally, the ropes should be inspected for any signs of damage and wear out every time before lifting the load.
Another important component that must be tested is the hook. Some common issues that affect the performance of a hook are structural deformities, presence of latches, excessive corrosion, and field modification. Other than that, heavy-duty applications and overload may even lead to a condition called ‘fatigue failure.’ This condition manifests in the form of cracks.
Make sure you’re getting both these components tested and inspected for damage signs by a certified expert.
Be wary of the weight limits
The safe limits exist in crane systems for a reason—the safety of the workers and all surrounding property. Make sure you comply with them. If your work requires you to lift heavier loads, speak to the manufacturer and invest in a model that fulfills the said requirements. Other than choosing the right crane with suitable lifting capacity, you can also mitigate the risk by using Crane Load Moment Indicators.
You also need to realize that there is different lifting equipment for each type of load. The crane that lifts a concrete block will not be able to move around a liquid-filled tank the same way.
Other than that, make sure the crane operator is well-aware of the height of the lifting load. The length of your crane’s boom will help you gauge how high the load can go. If most of the overload lifting is being done vertically, invest in a lift with a longer boom length.
Keep the employees informed
If you’re using an overhead crane, all the workers on the site should be aware. When the load goes above your head, all workers on the site must be aware of the danger so they could momentarily step out of the way.
Educate them to make sure there are no obstacles when the load is being lifted. They should also understand that works can’t stand below the overhead crane when it is carrying the load.
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