5 Essential Tips for Crane Safety

28th April 2015

Cranes are powerful pieces of machinery that can lift the heaviest of weights to the smallest of loads. Today, cranes are a useful piece of machinery commonly found on the building and construction sites, and are generally equipped with a hoist, wire ropes and chains. While cranes are very useful to have and can make difficult jobs a lot easier, they also come with strict safety procedures that must be followed as even a small mistake with a crane could result in damage to property or a person.

Crane safety is essential for protecting the lives of workmen on the building site, as well as making sure you maximize uptime for productivity. Here are 5 essential safety considerations for cranes.

1. Operator Experience.

Crane operator’s work on building and construction sites, in all weather conditions. Cranes are big pieces of machinery and therefore anyone who undertakes the control of a crane must have prior experience and all the correct documentation. To manage the safety risks associated with operating a crane, an experienced operator will carry out the following health and safety checks as routine:

– checking the condition of the ground before setting up the crane
– knowing how to check the general maintenance of the crane – looking for defects or wear and tear that could potentially compromise the safety of the job
– inspecting the load they are going to be lifting to ensure it is balanced and secured

Never let anyone who has not had the appropriate training operate a crane.

2. Identify any potential hazards

There are a multitude of potential hazards on a building or construction site that you should be on the lookout for at all times.

Some of the most common hazards that you should be aware of include:

– If the load is not secured properly it could slip out – resulting in damage to property, or even injury. Always check that your load is secure before commencing work.
– Never leave a suspended load unattended, even if you are confident it is secure in its hoist.
– Never carry loads over other people – ensure the area is clear before you commence moving a load.

3. Compliance with Workplace Health and Safety

Each state has workplace health and safety regulations that exist to help reduce the risk of workers being injured and killed on the job. It’s imperative that you are up to date with current regulations. If you don’t comply you could be liable for prosecution. If you need more information on this, make sure to get in touch with the Health and Safety regulator in your state for more details and advice.

4. Properly maintained machinery

While you could have the best crane operator in town, and be fully compliant with all the health and safety regulations, if you machinery isn’t up to the job you are putting workers at risk.

You should look to maintain your crane on a regular basis. Common things to look for when maintaining a crane include:

– Checking the wire rope – Inspect sockets, thimble joints, sheaves and all wire rope hardware. During a rope change make sure you look out for worn bearings, broken flanges and visually check the contour, smoothness and size.
– Hydraulic Systems – Check the levels of fluids and look for deterioration or leakage in air or the hydraulic system
– Control Mechanisms – You should always check cables, breaks and levers, looking for excessive wear or poor adjustment.

If you have hired a crane from a professional company you can rest assured that these regular maintenance checks are carried out frequently. However, an experienced crane operator will always carry out these fundamental checks before starting any job.

5. Understanding the requirements of the job

Crane can lift a wide variety of loads; therefore each job can be different. It’s imperative that you completely understand the requirements of your job before commencing. Know what you are lifting; the weight and the balance. Be clear on where you are moving it to.

If you’re looking for crane hire for an upcoming job then don’t hesitate to get in touch with the specialists like Surf City Cranes – not only in crane hire but also in crane maintenance and safety.