Crane Safety – Important Tips for Your Construction Projects
Cranes are tremendously powerful pieces of equipment that do the heaviest lifting in construction and industrial workspaces. The construction industry counts on them to perform essential tasks to maintain a productive business without any safety issues. Since cranes are vital pieces of equipment, a focus on crane safety is essential; when crane operation is careless, accidents happen. Workers and operators must follow the standard operating procedures during lifting operations to prevent accidents in the workplace. Here are some of the essential crane safety tips in crane operation for your next project:
Only Qualified and Certified Operators Can Operate the Crane
Cranes require specialized knowledge to operate safely. Note that every crane operator has load-lifting limits on their certifications and qualifications. So it is an essential element confirming that the operator who uses the crane is certified and qualified to operate or if the operator can lift the specific load limit of a particular lifting task. Operators should know the equipment and be well-versed in all of its proper safety procedures, including the appropriate hand signals by the riggers.
Choose the Right Crane for the Project
Selecting the right crane for the project is vital for safe crane operation. Whether it is a mobile or fixed crane, load-lifting capacity is essential in choosing the right crane for the job. Mainly fixed cranes are used in industrial or in high-rise construction projects. Mobile cranes come in varieties such as:
Crawler Crane: It is suitable for soft terrain sites because it has a continuous track instead of rubber wheels.
Carry Deck Crane: This type of mobile crane features easy set-up rotation. But it cannot handle rough terrain very well.
All Terrain Crane: This mobile crane can travel alone to the job site and handle rough terrain sites.
Rough Terrain Crane: This crane cannot travel on public roads, but it can efficiently handle complex grades and challenging terrain.
Telescopic Crane: This crane has a boom provided with a hydraulic cylinder that can change its boom length. It is mounted on a truck to transport from different working sites. It is highly adaptable in short-term construction projects.
There are dozens of different mobile cranes, but safe liftings begin with picking the right crane for your project.
Operators should use the checklist to inspect the equipment thoroughly every day and before operating or lifting jobs. It includes visual checking for cables, boom, hydraulic cracks, and any signs of hoist wear-off. If there are signs of damage, operators should order for taking them out of service and sending for repair.
Identifying or estimating the load weight is also an essential factor confirming that it does not exceed the limit of the equipment to avoid overloading while lifting. And check if it is safe and properly secured for the lifting operation process.
Ensure Grounds are Clear from Workers
A safe worksite is everybody’s responsibility and should keep a secure perimeter around the crane and ensure that it is not on the crane radius. Standing directly on a crane suspended load can cause an accident at any time. All workers need to address all the precautionary measures in the daily safety meetings.
It will help to prevent unwanted accidents in your worksite and allows you to ensure that the ground is clear from any other workers near the lifting jobs.
Each crane has its swing radius or the arc in which the counterweight and the boom travel. First, you need to identify the radius, close off the area or put a barricade equal to the radius to create a controlled or safe zone. So all the unauthorized persons will be notified through the signages and barricade and not be put in danger.
Consider Wind Speed
Sudden Harsh weather or strong winds adds risk during lifting operations, and there should be quick actions to prevent accidents. To manage this kind of risk, knowing the exact wind condition at all times is a must, especially when the lifting is ongoing. Based on the crane specification, project managers and operators can decide if the lifting can safely proceed or abort the task.
Do Not Use Cranes To Lift People
Crane safety regulations do not allow cranes for lifting employees. Although this action might look like an efficient way to transport some personnel to the area, it creates fall hazards and undue risk. There are much safer alternatives, such as scissors or boom lifts.
Conduct Major Inspection
An overall primary inspection for the crane at certain intervals is a strict requirement to identify any parts needing replacement or repair. It is advisable to conduct a significant assessment every 1- 12 months, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations on the equipment.
And when the inspection discovers that the crane needs repair or maintenance, it is essential to understand the risk to safety if the crane is still in service. The crane should be put on hold until maintenance and repair are complete.
Monitor the Lifting
Attentiveness improves safety; the qualified operator should monitor and never leave any suspended load unattended. During the lifting, they should keep an eye on the controls.
Ensure to Allocate Adequate Time for the Lifting Job
To avoid rushing the lifting task, ensure to allocate adequate time. Trying to speed the lifting process can lead to property damage and accidents. Crane operators will have enough time to thoroughly inspect the equipment, lifting process, and procedures if there is adequate time for the task to mitigate accidents in the worksite during lifting or crane operations.
Clear and Proper Communications
During lifting in a high-rise building where the crane operator cannot see the rigger, it needs precise and efficient communication in this lifting task; clear communication between the operator and the rigger is essential. Best Access Doors recommends strong communication on the job site to ensure that door panels installed by cranes are most effective.
Cranes are Essential Equipment in Construction Sites
Ubiquitous safety measures are needed. Taking for granted the crane operation or any heavy equipment present in the worksites could be more of a liability than a benefit. It can lead to severe accidents and property damage. Keep the above tips in mind to help you ensure safe crane operation on your worksite while maintaining a high level of productivity.
Chris Jackson is an experienced Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry. He is currently working with Best Access Doors, an access door supplier in the US and Canada, and has been working for the company for more than 12 years now. His area of expertise is on Negotiation, Roofers, Sales, Project Estimation, and Facility Management (FM)