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Cranes: On-site Safety Tips

Crane accidents lead to one of the costliest disasters for they not only harm human life but ruin infrastructure and the machinery itself. In addition to that, since 2001, there have been accidents relating to the largest cranes in the nation, which has resulted in 25 serious injuries and nine fatalities. Other types of cranes add more to this number. Everything adds up to the conclusion that some safety measures need to be taken into account whenever near or on a working crane.

Coordination is the key

There should be a proper way of communication between the operator and other workers. At times, it may be possible that the view is blocked to the operator’s vision due to the load suspension in the middle of the air. At times like these, other workers can be a lot of help in the prevention of any accident by guiding the controller. Similarly, workers can avoid walking in the areas where loading or lowering of heavy objects is taking place. The coordination helps prevent electrical hazards as well. When any metal part of the hoist line comes in contact with a high voltage power line, it may lead to a disastrous outcome.

Knowledge is priority

Many of the times, the driver decides to load more weight than the crane could bear. Here comes the proper knowledge of loading and lifting limit and its strict implementation. A supervisor should be present on site all the time to ensure the smooth going for loading and unloading. Health and safety training can help with avoiding small disasters by wearing the proper gear (head, foot, hand and eye) and by learning necessary aids to help to deal with any major accident. Routine maintenance can avoid any technical or mechanical error, this is something that all crane and hire companies need to keep up with. A varied knowledge distributed over a range of people can help prevent disasters or to tackle if one ever happens.

Outriggers and cribbers

The land below affects the safe working of the crane. So before visiting any site, check for the quality of the property you are working on is stable. If the ground itself is unstable (it may be due to the soil or unevenly distributed concrete base), then the crane can get tipped. Outriggers are not functional if the base is weak, because the pad and float are under high compression when the machine is under load, and so they won’t do any good on uneven grounds. One way to avoid this is cribbing, to make the ground solid and so proper knowledge of load that the crib can handle is a must.

Avoid shortcuts

Avoid the man basket to direct the workers to their workplace. It is dangerous to lift men to such a height with a constant fear of swinging.

Do not use cranes for safe keeping, for a slight bit of disturbance can lead to a significant accident, not to mention when someone is standing right below an overhead load. When idle, the amount must always be positioned low to the ground.

Put danger signs to avoid people walking right into the swing radius because the counterweight and the boom can move in a limited space and so it becomes easy to mark an area for the workers to not walk into.

Proper care of everything

• A well-trained operator, because he is going to handle the elevator, can work wonders.

• Proper loading, securing, and a double check can lead to a less number of disasters.

• Reversing directions or putting a break suddenly can lead to the falling of an overhead load.

• Using a crane (which is designed for lifting the load vertically) to lift or drag an amount sideways can lead to its structural damage and hence accidents.

• So any such activity should be avoided.

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