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Putting Together a Critical Lift Plan: A Guide

Working with powerful machinery and heavy lifting form the basis of the rigging and crane industry. Overlooking safety practices during routine operations can lead to catastrophic consequences.

Despite the precarious nature of the business, some jobs are riskier than others. Critical lift describes situations where risk factors are amplified, and even the slightest margin of error becomes unacceptable.

OSHA defines ‘critical lift’ as a situation where:

  • The mass of the load surpasses 75% of the crane’s rated capacity; or

  • Multiple cranes or derricks are required for the lift.

Some companies draw up additional parameters that constitute critical lifts, such as when workers are being transported on lifts or when a high-value load is being moved.

As one of the leading crane safety solutions provider, we’ve outlined a list of important considerations you need to keep in mind when designing and executing a critical lift plan.

Site Considerations

Start by examining the site conditions to determine how favorable—or unfavorable—they are. The ground conditions need to be assessed to ensure the crane has a stable base. If it has rained recently or if the ground bearing pressure is low, the lift becomes high-risk and thus should be treated as critical.

Additionally, the site also needs to be analyzed for structures nearby. If it’s located in a crowded part of the city or if major power are lines running close by, additional safety precautions must be taken.

Proper Equipment

The equipment required on the day of the job varies depending on the job at hand. For a critical lift these items are crucial to have on hand:

  • An operational crane that meets capacity requirements

  • Proper matting

  • Adequate rigging equipment

  • An anemometer, such as the R180 crane wind speed indicator

  • Any necessary paperwork and documentation regarding the load weight

  • All certified and trained personnel, including operators, rigger, signal person and site supervisor

Proper Crane Setup

A correct crane setup is necessary to ensure a safe lift in any situation. The crane needs to be inspected on-site prior to use before it can be operated. The wires and rigging equipment must meet the capacity requirements of the crane. Finally, make sure that your load is within the crane’s operating radius and at a sufficient boom length and boom angle.

Here at Crane Warning Systems Atlanta, our goal is to help enhance the efficiency of your lift operations. We offer a wide selection of technologically advanced crane safety systems, including crane LMI systems, crane capacity indicators, crane load indicators,and wireless anemometers.

Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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