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Operating a crane safely can mean the difference between a successful job and serious injury. Before driving a crane, follow these safety tips to avoid construction site accidents.

Legal experts, should the standard operations fail despite your best efforts like these can help you manage the consequences of a hoist accident by educating you about your rights and making an effort to maximize compensation. Whether you’ve fallen from a great height, been electrocuted, or the victim of faulty equipment, seeking retribution can be the next step after fractures, cuts, or quality-of-life head trauma.

However, to stay out of the firing line of litigation, take the following precautions.

Safe lifting suggestions

These crane safety tips keep you or any co-workers safe when using a crane. Always make sure that the crane is not damaged before use.

Choose the right crane for the job

So that you can use the crane safely, everything starts with the selection of the right crane. A crane can be fixed or mobile. You will find that stationary cranes are more likely to be used in large construction projects or in industrial environments.

Mobile cranes can be used in different situations so make sure you choose the right crane for the job at hand.

Carrying deck crane

These cranes are very mobile and easy to turn and set up. However, this crane does not cope well with rough terrain.

Crawler crane

If you need a crane in an area with soft terrain, this type is perfect for the job as it uses rubber wheels.

Rough terrain crane

Although these cranes cannot travel on public roads, they do very well on steep terrain and steep inclines.

All-terrain crane

Perhaps the most versatile crane, the all-terrain model, can drive independently to construction sites without a conveyor system and, on arrival, can cope with impassable terrain.

There are many cranes to choose from, all of which work best on different types of terrain. This is why you need to choose the right crane in order to maximum security on the site.

Always use qualified personnel

The safe operation of cranes requires trained personnel for construction, signaling, upgrading and operation. There are regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)which stipulates that only certified and trained persons are allowed to operate cranes on the construction site. So it is important to vet all employees to make sure they are complying with the regulations.

Read operating instructions

Using qualified personnel is only the first step in operating a crane. Also, keep in mind that cranes are made by different companies as each piece of equipment has unique controls and fail-safe equipment.

Given these distinctions, each crew member operating a crane should have specific knowledge of the particular crane they are using. The operating instructions for each crane contain all relevant information, such as:

  • Security mechanisms
  • Controls
  • Load capacities
  • Stabilizers and counterweights

Perform daily operator checks

To ensure that the crane is safe before operation, the operator must perform a daily check based on a checklist. The checklist consists of safety system checks, pre-start checks, engine start checks.

Checks before the start

Before starting the crane, the operator should check the following: Check the oil level, seat belts, tire condition and air reservoir, battery and other important items.

Engine start controls

Before starting a full working day, after starting the engine, the operator must check the following: fuel level, horn, blinkers, pressure gauges and suspension, brain system, and other things.

Security system reviews

Most importantly, operators must conduct safety system checks to avoid a disaster on the job site. Be sure to evaluate the nominal capacity limiter, support legs, and anti-two block. In addition, operators should perform a series of hydraulic system checks.

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

Avoid or remove obstacles while driving

Before driving with a crane, a path must be planned and cleared of all obstacles. If there are immovable obstacles such as power lines or other solid structures, be sure to avoid them.

In addition, the operator should keep a safe distance at all times. For example, cranes must be at least 3 m away from power lines with up to 50,000 volts.

A signal person should always guide the crane while driving. This person will alert the crane operator to potential hazards that may be imminent and warn the other site personnel that the crane is moving.

Carefully stabilize the crane before erecting it

There are outriggers and other stabilizing features to prevent the crane from tipping and falling over during operation. When trying to make the crane stable, consider the following suggestions:

  • To find out how far to extend the booms, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Always use crane pads or support plates under the outriggers.
  • Do not place booms over indentations, unsafe floors, or voids.

Incorrect erection of the outriggers resulted in numerous tipping over and crane accidents. So make sure that your support is on a solid foundation. Before lifting, make sure that the crane is stabilized with outriggers.

Make sure your rig is properly loaded

Correct positioning of the loads prevents objects from falling and hitting people on the construction site while the work is being carried out. Follow this list of tips when assembling a load:

Coupling

You can attach slings to fragile loads using a variety of methods. Think about how the weight of an object is distributed and how the object itself is lifted. Choker attachment and basket attachment are the two most common forms of attachment.

Loop angle

Using an angle other than vertical on slings creates additional forces which reduce the overall load-bearing capacity. Always use appropriately rated slings while considering the sling you need for the weight and specific angle.

A thorough understanding of forces, rigging techniques, and weight distributions makes the heaviest and irregular loads safe and stable.

Wrap up

Despite your best efforts and careful execution of these crane safety tips, there are still certain risks that can make you susceptible to a hoist accident. Be sure to seek legal counsel in these cases.