Cranes are tremendously powerful pieces of equipment that make it possible to lift heavy loads on construction sites. That said, cranes are also potential hazards, as both cranes themselves and the loads they carry can cause harm when improperly handled.
Ensuring safe crane operation begins with choosing the correct crane. Cranes are either mobile or fixed, with fixed cranes generally being used in industrial settings or in complex or tall construction projects.
Mobile cranes come in many varieties, so make sure to select the right crane for the particular site.
There are dozens of crane types to choose from, including truly massive cranes, and safety starts with picking the right crane for each unique job site.
Safe operation of cranes demands trained personnel for setting up, rigging, signaling and operation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations in place that require only trained, certified and properly evaluated individuals to operate cranes on job sites. Make sure to adhere to all regulations to be certain that qualified personnel are being used to operate cranes at all times.
Even when employing qualified personnel, it’s important to remember that cranes from different manufacturers have unique controls, failsafe devices and features. Anyone operating or working with cranes should have a detailed understanding of the specific crane being used. The operator’s manual includes vital information about:
Be sure to read the operator’s manual in full before operating any crane.
A crane operator must use a daily inspection checklist to ensure the crane is safe prior to operation. These checks include pre-start checks, engine start-up checks and safety system checks.