Safety Tips for Crane Operation
Updated: Apr 12, 2019
By knowing what to watch for and how to prevent accidents, companies can get their jobs done faster and more efficient, and make employees feel safer. Let’s go over a few safety tips to ensure that everyone on your worksite is safe.
Legally, all crane operators must have their Certified Crane Operator license. The National commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is in charge of the standards for crane operator certificates. In order to obtain a license, potential operators must prove that they have sufficient knowledge of how to safely and effectively operate a crane. By working with licensed operators, you ensure the safety of your worksite and avoid costly lawsuits on the chance that an accident does happen.
Create a Checklist
Having a working operating manual is a key way to stay up to date on the proper way to use, maintain and operate your cranes and other heavy equipment. This manual should include a checklist. This checklist allows you to go through all the steps and procedures quickly and easily before and after each operational use. It should include:
Examine loading chain for damage or twists
Ensure hooks are in proper shape and position
Et cetera, et cetera
When something on the checklist doesn’t meet the code or criteria, operators will be able to use the procedure and halt operation to prevent accidental use or startup of the crane before it’s fixed.
It’s easy to lift something and think “I could probably get more than what I have on my haul right now”, but this is one of the biggest mistakes operators can make when controlling a crane. The crane has a lifting capacity for a very big reason - it can’t exceed that weight safely!
According to OSHA, 80% of crane accidents occur when an operator exceeds the crane’s operational capacity. Overloading accidents are caused by swinging or sudden dropping of a load. Balance and precision are key. Ensure that your workers are using the right sized crane, sling, and equipment for the job at hand.
Avoid Slack Chains
Although your workers may be experienced, loading a crane without proper measurements and just 'eye-balling' or going with instincts are another huge safety risk. This can cause the crane to be overloaded or even have too little. The chain or wire should always be in a taut position before lifting a load. Your operators should know:
Not to run a hook with a slack chain
Not to bend the chain or wire on sharp edges
Report damaged or frayed chain or wire
Other Safety Precautions
Accidents can still happen even if all of the proper safety precautions are taken. Because of this, it’s important to know what to do if there is a safety risk on your work site. Always have your eyes open for any potential accidents, like an unattended suspended load, an overloaded lift, or even workers without the proper safety attire.
Employees working on or around overhead cranes should always wear the appropriate head, foot, eye, and hand protection. Many fatal injuries on sites occur because of this reason alone. When on a work site where cranes are being frequently operated, know your surroundings, never walk under a lift, and never lift or transport people on a hoist.
If you're looking for any more tips on safety, then please feel free to contact 24/7 Lifting, Inc. With over 20 years experience in the industry, we'd be happy to advise. Also, of course, if you're looking for a lifting service or plant rental, just fill out our contact form or give us a call on 914-233-9047.