Cranes are powerful lifting machines which can lift and hold up to 300 tonnes. And because they are used for lifting heavy items and objects, you need to be extremely careful in order to avoid accidents. The number of crane-related accidents continues to raise every year. These accidents happen as a result of poor training, overconfidence and lack of attention. Therefore, there are some regulations that operators need to follow. Cranes are not only dangerous machines, but also can cause costly damages on the job site. Due to that, OSHA (occupational safety and health administration) developed a set of safety standards that every crane operator needs to follow. Let’s see what needs to be done for safe crane operation:
- The contractors must provide appropriate training programs for the operators. The cranes must be operated by certified operators who will known what to do, especially in critical situations. Remember that the cranes can be a deadly weapon if used by unprofessional and unqualified operators.
- Make sure that all cranes are in a good working condition. Don’t forget to inspect them on a daily basis. This simple daily routine will help you to detect defects or cracks that might lead to serious accidents. Don’t push the cranes beyond their limits. Act as soon as you detect any problem.
- It is very important to know the weight capacity of your cranes. Along with that, it is also important to inspect the surface where the cranes are used. An asphalt might seem like a stable surface, but during the hot summer days, this surface is not that stable as you think. Operators should be careful even when they use outriggers. The outriggers won’t provide the needed stability if they are extended on uneven surface.
- Some operators use cranes for improper activities, such as side loading. That’s a big NO! Cranes are designed for vertical lifting, and any improper handling can lead to deadly accidents.
- Barricade the area where you plan to use the crane. Make sure there are no objects within that radius. Inform all workers that walking in the barricaded area is forbidden during the lifting operation.
- Don’t use a cell phone or other device that might distract you. Stay completely focused on the task until you turn off the engine. Get rid of everything that can steal your attention while moving the crane boom.
- Operators should use radios, air horns, hands or other signals to alert other workers at the construction site. According to the OSHA’s safety standards, everyone working at a construction site needs to know what these signals mean.