Overhead crane safety is of paramount importance. The statistics speak for themselves. For example, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, reports that between 1992 and 2006, 632 deaths occurred because of crane accidents.
Although safety measures have improved over the last decade, the fact remains that health and safety standards in this arena need maintaining.
In light of this, we’ve compiled a mini guide to overhead crane safety. Hopefully, this will help minimize the likelihood of you and your employees experiencing any accidents on the construction site.
Complete a Safety Checklist Before Operating Cranes
If you don’t have a safety checklist in place, then we recommend drawing one up and completing it before operating a crane.
Here are a few things to include:
- Check for any loose materials (packaging, parts, etc.) and remove them before operating the crane.
- Always check the load’s maximum capacity weight and ensure the amount doesn’t exceed this limit. This information is usually marked on the outside of the crane, so it’s pretty easy to familiarize yourself with this.
- Always remove visible slack from the hoist or sling before lifting.
- Ensure the space between the equipment and the loading destination is clear of any hazards or dangerous components that could obstruct the lift.
- If you’re working alongside colleagues, let them know when you’ll use the crane, what you’re moving and where you’re planning on using it.
- If you’re helping to load the transfer, make sure you and your coworkers position yourselves so you can see the load without putting yourselves in harm’s way.
By executing these preliminary safety measures you drastically increase the likelihood of having an accident-free transfer.
Things to Avoid While Operating an Overhead Crane
We recommend always avoiding the following while operating an overhead crane:
- Never use a crane if the limit switches are either down or out of order.
- Never allow yourself to become distracted during the move. You should watch the load at all times; focus is of paramount importance.
- Never lift a load from a sideways angle. Always aim to center the weight before hoisting. This helps to reduce swinging during the transfer and makes the process safer and easier to control.
- Don’t under any circumstances allow people to ride on the load during the transfer.
Be sure to follow all of the above advice, stick to these pointers and hopefully you shouldn’t go too far wrong.
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