7 Must-Know Crane Safety Tips to Prevent Construction Site Accidents

Safely operating a crane can be the difference between a successful job and serious injuries. Before driving a crane, follow these safety tips to prevent construction site accidents. 

Should standard operations go south, despite your best efforts, legal experts like these can help you navigate the hoist accident aftermath by informing you of your rights and striving to maximize compensation. Whether you’ve freefallen from great heights, experienced electrocution, or become the victim of faulty equipment, seeking retribution might be the next step following broken bones, bodily cuts, or quality-of-life-compromising head trauma. 

However, to stay out of the line of fire of legal battles, take the precautions below. 

Suggestions for safe lifting

These crane safety tips will keep you or any employees safe when using a crane. Always double-check that the crane is not compromised before use. 

Choose the right crane for the job

Ensuring that you use the crane safely all begins with selecting the right crane. A crane can be fixed or mobile. You’ll find that fixed cranes have a tendency to be used in tall construction projects or an industrial setting.

Mobile cranes can get used in various situations, so be sure you choose the correct crane for the job.

Carry deck crane

These cranes are very mobile and feature easy rotation and setup. However, this crane does not take to rugged terrain very well. 

Crawler crane

If you require a crane in an area of soft terrain, this type is perfect for the job because they use rubber wheels.

Rough-terrain crane

Although these cranes can’t travel on public roads, they happen to handle steep terrain and steeper grades very well.

All-terrain crane

Perhaps the most versatile of the cranes, the all-terrain model can travel to job sites on their own without a delivery system, and they can deal with rough terrain very well upon arrival.

There are many cranes to choose from, and they all perform best in various types of terrain. That is why you must select the right crane to maximize safety on the job site.

Always utilize qualified personnel

Operating cranes safely requires trained personnel for setting up, signaling, rigging, and operation. There are regulations put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which mandates that only certified and trained people can operate cranes on the job site. Therefore, it is critical to vet all of your personnel to ensure they adhere to the regulations.

Read operator manuals

Employing qualified personnel is only the first step in operating a crane. It’s also imperative to remember that cranes get manufactured by different companies, as each piece of equipment will feature unique controls and failsafe devices. 

With these distinctions in mind, each crew member operating a crane should have specialized knowledge about the particular crane that they’re using. The operation manual for each crane will contain all of the pertinent information about it, such as:

  • Safety mechanisms
  • Operator controls
  • Load capacities
  • Stabilizers and counterweights

Perform daily operator checks

To ensure that the crane is safe before being operated, the operator must perform a daily inspection using a checklist. The checklist consists of safety system checks, pre-start checks, engine start-up checks.

Pre-start checks

Before the crane gets started, the operator should check the following: oil levels, seat belts, check the tire condition and air reservoir, and battery, along with other essential things.

Engine start-up checks

Before going into a full day of work, the operator must check the following after starting the engine: fuel level, horn, turn signals, pressure gauge and suspension, and brain system, as well as other things.

Safety system checks

Most importantly, operators must perform safety system checks to avoid a catastrophe on the job site. Be sure to assess the rated capacity limiter, outriggers, and the anti-two block. Moreover, operators should do a series of hydraulic system checks.

You must perform a daily operator check before operating any crane.

Avoid or clear obstacles during travel

Before traveling with a crane, a path must be planned out and cleared of all obstructions. If there are any immovable obstacles such as power lines or any other permanent structures, avoid them at all costs. 

Additionally, the operator should maintain a safe distance at all times. For example, cranes must be at least 10 feet from power lines up to 50,000 volts.

There should always be a signal person leading the crane during travel. This person will be sure to make the crane operator aware of potential hazards that are imminently approaching and warn other site personnel of the crane’s movement.

Stabilize the crane carefully before you rig it 

There are outriggers and other stabilizing features to keep the crane from getting tipped and falling over during operation. When attempting to make the crane stable, remember these suggestions:

  • If you’re trying to figure out how far you should extend the outriggers, follow the manufacturer guidelines. 
  • Use crane pads or outrigger pads beneath outriggers, always. 
  • Don’t put outriggers over depressions, unsteady ground, or voids.

Numerous tip-overs and crane accidents have happened as a result of improper outriggers set up. Therefore, ensure that your outrigger placement is on a solid foundation. Before making any lifts, make sure to stabilize the crane with outriggers.

Make sure your rig is loaded the right way

Rigging the loads correctly helps to prevent objects from falling and striking individuals on the job site as they work. Follow this list of tips when you rig a load:

Hitching

You can attach slings to precarious loads using different methods. Consider how the weight of an object gets distributed and the object that is being lifted itself. Choker hitching and basket hitching are the two most common forms of hitching.

Sling angle

With slings, when there’s any angle used other than a vertical one, additional forces will be exerted, which reduces the total weight capacity. Always use appropriately rated slings while considering the sling you’ll need for the weight and the specific angle. 

Possessing a thorough understanding of force, rigging techniques, and weight distributions will make the heaviest and irregular loads safe and steady.

Wrap-Up

Despite your best efforts and thorough execution of these crane safety tips, there are still certain risks that will make you susceptible to a hoist-related accident. In these instances, be sure to seek legal counsel for assistance.

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