Work-related illnesses and injuries kill almost two million people worldwide every year. Adding insult to injury is that such diseases and deaths are avoidable.
In the U.S. alone, preventable crane incidents injure and kill dozens of workers yearly. From January 2012 to December 2021, 262 of these cases occurred in the U.S., according to OSHA. That’s an annual rate of over two dozen workers getting injured, or even worse, dying.
That’s enough reason never to underestimate crane safety, as it can protect lives.
To that end, we listed the top tips on safely operating a crane, so keep reading.
Table of Contents
1. Always Use the Right Crane Type
There are several types of cranes, and they classify either as mobile or fixed. Moreover, they have specific features designed for particular terrains, rotations, and boom heights. They also have varying load capacities, ranging from as light as 250 pounds to as heavy as 60,000 tons.
Let’s use jib cranes as an example; these machines can lift loads weighing 250 pounds to 15 tons. These overhead lifting devices can be freestanding, wall-mounted, or foundationless. However, they are best for small work sites requiring precise and repetitive lifting.
So if you need a crane to lift loads heavier than 15 tons, never use a jib crane. Instead, go with an industrial gantry crane capable of lifting loads as hefty as 50,000 tons or more.
2. Ensure Only Certified Workers Operate Cranes
Certified crane operators have passed tests proving they know how to operate a crane. In addition, their certification comes from accredited certifying organizations. An example is the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators.
So before letting anyone operate a crane, make sure they have the qualifications to do so. Besides, OSHA regulations dictate that only certified crane operators should use cranes. Moreover, they can only operate cranes based on the type of certification they hold.
3. Never Skip Daily Operator Checks
Whether you operate warehouse or construction cranes, always perform daily equipment checks. These include pre-start inspections of the tires, oil levels, seat belts, and battery. Follow that up with an engine start-up check and, finally, a safety system check.
4. Enforce Safety Clearances
Getting struck, crushed, and pinned are among the top causes of crane injuries and deaths. And they don’t just happen to operators; they can also occur to nearby bystanders.
Therefore, planning and marking a clear path is essential before operating a crane. Just as crucial is to avoid immovable hazards like powerlines or permanent structures. There should also be a signal person to guide operators and warn other workers of ongoing crane use.
Prevent Hazards With These Crane Safety Tips
Please note that work injuries in the U.S. resulted in an economic impact of $163.9 billion in 2020 alone. That doesn’t even include the losses arising from avoidable deaths.
That’s enough reason to implement crane safety at your work site. Following the tips we discussed above can help you and your personnel stay safe on the job.
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