5 Common Crane Hazards And How To Avoid Them

5 Common Crane Hazards And How To Avoid Them

We trust cranes to help us get the big jobs done. But with cranes, a little mistake can have a huge impact.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 72 fatalities resulted from crane-related accidents in the last year analyzed.

Crane hazards are preventable when we take proper steps to avoid them. Let’s look at the 5 top hazards and how to prevent them.

Electrical Crane Hazards

Electrical hazards arise when the crane gets too close to power lines or other live wires.


  1. All electrical wiring should be properly covered, labeled and identifiable.
  2. Safety Supervisor conducts audit of the area to determine, point out and prepare for potential hazards
  3. 10 feet around the power lines should be clearly marked for the crane operator.
  4. Utilize well trained and attentive personnel to remain vigilant, communicating regularly with the crane operator regarding any hazards that may not be easily seen.
  5. Review and comply with OSHA regulations related to preventing electrical hazards.

Upset Hazards

Upset or imbalance occurs with the crane is overloaded, typically due to human error.

Machine operators who’ve been on the job a long time often think they’ve done this long enough to judge the weight by sight, leading to a hazardous situation.


  1. Those operating cranes today must be clearly trained on load capacity dynamics. They need to understand that their instincts can mislead them.
  2.  All regulations related to load capacity for that size crane should be clearly followed. The resulting damage is too great to leave to chance.

Materials Falling

The leading cause of crane hazard death isn’t something big like a crane contacting or hitting something. It’s something smaller.

Most of the crane-related deaths result from something falling from the crane.


  1. All cargo must be firmly secured.
  2. Test/Check the condition and capacity of hoists
  3. Wear protective gear
  4. Encourage all workers to be aware of their surroundings
  5. A trained safety supervisor must assure that everyone is complying with safety regulations

Weather Hazards

As hard workers who just want to get the job done, it’s hard to call it quits when the weather becomes hazardous. But weather can pose a serious risk to workers and equipment.

Wind, for example, could send the hoist rocking side to side, hitting something or tipping the crane.


  1. Cranes are built to withstand a certain wind impact. When the wind speed exceeds that capacity, the crane must be shut down.
  2. Make sure that workers know that windspeed increases with height. If it’s windy down below the upper crane experiences a pummeling.
  3. Workers should be trained on working with caution in ice, snow, sleet and rain.
  4. Assess the load size to determine what wind level is acceptable

Workspace Hazards

The culture of being aware of your surrounding is important in any work zone. But even more important around a crane.

Employees working under or close to the crane unnecessarily increases chances of a little mistake becoming a big one.


  1. Plan out your workspace, making sure workers have room to effectively do their jobs without walking under the crane.

Addressing Crane Hazards

Preventing fatalities, injuries and damage proper planning, training, and follow-through to ensure compliance with training and regulation. Regularly inspect equipment to ensure it’s in working order.

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Posted in Crane.