11 Important Crane Safety Tips

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Crane Safety Tips

Crane safety is the term used to describe a collection of procedures that an organization uses to make sure that the risks and dangers connected to using a crane are minimized. It is applicable to everyone and anyone operating a crane or working around it.

According to Wikipedia,

“A crane is a type of machine, generally equipped with a hoist rope, wire ropes or chains, and sheaves, that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. It is mainly used for lifting heavy things and transporting them to other places.” Wikipedia

Crane Safety

Crane safety should be adopted whenever the crane is in use. However, this article aims to highlight key crane safety tips we should always adopt anytime we are working with the crane (Mobile or tower crane) or working around cranes.

Before we get to the safety tips, lets discuss the major crane hazards.

Major Crane Hazards

Three (3) major hazards are often associated with cranes, and they include:

  • Electrical hazards: This occurs when any part of the crane makes contact with a power line. Most often, that part of the crane is the crane boom. This can result to electrocution and fire breakout.
  • Overloading: This occurs when the crane is made to carry a load which is beyond its design capacity. This could cause the crane to turn-over.
  • Falling Object: This occurs mostly when an unsecured load is lifted with the crane. The load could slip away or fall off; this will definitely pose a serious risk to the people on ground if proper segregation was not done.
  • Unstable ground: Using a crane on an unstable ground increases the probability of the crane tipping over.

The above mentioned crane hazards are the major causes of most crane accidents. Managing this hazards is key to preventing all form of crane accidents.

Lets now get into the crane safety tips.

See crane safety video by OSHA – Watch Now

11 Important Crane Safety Tips

Starting from the crane hazards:

  1. Always keep a safe clearance level for cranes when working around power lines.
  2. Never overload the crane. Always match the weight of the load to the crane capacity; know the crane safe working load -SWL.
  3. Ensure that all loads are properly secured before lifting. This can be ensured during the rigging process.
  4. Cranes with its accessories should be inspected always before use. What to inspect includes – Lifting accessories, wedge socket, boom, fluid, sheaves, tyres, etc, where applicable.
  5. For mobile cranes, make sure the it is stationed on a level ground and the outrigger base packed to prevent it from sinking into the soil if it’s stationed on a natural ground.
  6. The mobile crane outrigger must always be fully extended to ensure stability.
  7. Always consider the boom angle and boom length of your mobile crane to be able to ascertain adequate safe working load.
  8. Cranes must always be operated by a trained and competent person.
  9. Crane working area and the swing radius must always be cordon off to prevent unauthorized entry.
  10. A trained and competent signal man should be on ground to ensure a smooth communication with the crane operator through out every job involving a crane. He should understand the crane hand signal.
  11. Depending on the complexity of the lifting operation, a lifting plan may be put in place with a lifting checklist. This will guide the safe completion of the lifting operation.

Additional Materials

OSHA Crane, Derrick and Hoist Safety – Here

Overhead Crane Safety, 29 CFR 1910.179 – Here

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