There is an average of 71 fatal accidents involving cranes in the United States every year.
It’s essential to understand overhead crane safety to avoid injury or death to your workers. By following these simple tips, you can help prevent numerous workplace accidents.
Keep reading to learn more about overhead crane operation and how to ensure the safety of everyone in your company.
1. Set up Daily Inspections
You should be doing a full, in-depth inspection of your crane every single day. Everything that’s checked should be noted in a log book where anything unusual can be written.
Some things to check every day include:
- Operating mechanisms
- Lines, tanks, and valves
- Hoist chains and ropes
Any unusual findings should immediately be addressed and the crane should never be operated if there are any suspicions that it may not be working correctly.
2. Inspect Before Every Lift
You should also be doing a quick visual inspection before every lift. This ensures nothing unusual has happened since the previous lift. It also allows you to make sure the loading area is clear of anything that could interfere with the next lift.
3. Always Confirm Suitability
If you always lift the same amount of weight with your crane, you can skip this step. However, if you are frequently moving objects of different weights, you need to ensure that your crane is capable of lifting them safely.
Carefully check everything from the type of motor you have to the sling and hook before lifting something. If you attempt to lift something heavier than what your crane can handle, the lift could end in disaster.
4. Use Clear Communication
In most cases, you won’t be able to speak directly to the crane operator. That’s why it’s crucial to have a qualified crane operator signal person on the ground.
This person should know the proper hand signals needed to safely direct the crane operator, so the job is completed without putting anyone in danger.
You’ll also want to communicate with everyone on the ground when a load is going up. This allows workers to clear the area while the crane is in operation.
5. Limit Crane Access
Crane access must be limited to only those who know how to operate it. In the wrong hands, an overhead crane can be deadly. Use locks and keycards to restrict crane access.
6. Minimize Load Swing
Make sure your crane operators are both qualified and skilled at operating a crane. This means they can smoothly move the load to minimize the amount of moving it does.
When the load swings, it puts unnecessary pressure on components and can create an unsafe work environment.
7. Keep Equipment Clean
This should go without saying, but avoid storing slings and other crane equipment on the floor. By keeping everything clean, you can keep it in good working order which will decrease the chances of failure.
Learn More About Overhead Crane Safety
Now you have a list of ways you can ensure the safety of yourself and your employees when using cranes.
Check out our article on small mobile crane maintenance. There, you’ll find additional information on how you can keep your crane running the way it should.