Take 5 For Safety – Crane Safety

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Crane Safety

General info
The following applies to all types of cranes, including mobile cranes, overhead or gantry cranes and jib cranes. It is important to understand the characteristics and methods to operate your crane safely. The U.S. Department of Labor cites an average of 82 deaths per year due to crane accidents at construction sites alone. Do not become the next statistic. Review these safety tips prior to operating your crane.

Crane Safety Tips:

Know the rated load limitations of your crane and the weight of the load to be lifted and moved. Do not move the load if the weight is uncertain.
* When calculating the weight of the load, consider internal fluids or objects within the load that could increase the weight.
* Understand the reach and travel limits of the crane before moving the load to avoid extra handling, sudden stops and uncontrolled load swings.
* If required, ensure rigging and cribbing is adequate to support the load. Attach eye-bolts or other latching devices to the loads’ strongest structural members.
* Avoid lifting the load from the side to prevent sudden impacts on the crane.
* Ensure the load is in static and not dynamic state. That is, inspect the load for additional forces applied to it other than the vertical upward force of the crane. Unforeseen forces on the load could create a sudden jerk or impact on the crane and introduce more safety hazards or damage.
* Never use the crane to pull or drag the load across the ground or floor. This introduces frictional forces that could exceed the rated crane load capacity.
* When using mobile cranes, ensure it is stable enough to move the load without tipping or over-turning. This is one of the most hazardous conditions when using mobile cranes. If required, use stabilizing bars or outriggers to provide the necessary resistance.
* For heavy and awkwardly-shaped loads, use tag lines to help guide the load.
* Always wear the proper PPE before using cranes, including eye protection and steel-toed shoes with metatarsal guards.
Reprinted courtesy of Stellar Industries, Inc.

Questions to Generate Discussion:
* What is the difference between a static and dynamic load? Which load is safer?
* What is the most dangerous safety hazard related to mobile cranes?

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4 thoughts on “Take 5 For Safety – Crane Safety”

  1. I agree that avoiding lifting a load from the side can decrease the potential for sudden impacts. While operating these machines, safety should be taken very seriously. Hopefully, the operators can be safe and get the job done quickly.

  2. I think that your tip to make sure that the load in cranes is static and not in a dynamic state is important for workers to know. Inspecting each load before operating a crane seems like a good way to make sure that it’s safe. It seems that unforeseen forces can cause accidents, so this seems like an important safety measure before using a crane.

  3. That’s a great point you make about how you shouldn’t use a crane to drag something on the ground because the friction could then exceed the load capacity. I’ve heard that it’s so vitally important, too, that you make sure there are continual training meetings for those that operate cranes so they are reminded of the safety. I’ll be sure to keep these great safety tips in mind in case I ever find myself operating a crane and need to be safe.

  4. Your recommendation to avoid lifting loads from the side is very interesting to me. I didn’t realize that cranes need to be so carefully although it makes sense that it’s essentially in order to keep people safe. I’ll have to remember this because a heavy load being lifted from the side could put lateral stress on the crane which it might not be able to handle.

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