Asking the Right Questions Before a Crane Lift

01st November 2016

Owning or hiring a crane on a worksite takes considerable planning and organisation. For this reason, as a worker or manager on a worksite, there are important questions to ask before an object can be lifted off the ground.

Let’s explore a few of the more critical questions to ask before a crane lift.

Who is the Lift Director?

The lift director is basically in charge of overseeing the lift. They decide when to go ahead with a lift and when an environment unsafe. In fact, your lift director will be responsible for asking or answering many of the questions below.

A Lift Director is a certified position and the expert you put in charge should have extensive experience. While they are in charge, everyone on the worksite should still be aware of crane safety requirements.

What Are the Specific Jobsite Rules?

A crane operator may be an outsourced role. This means the individual is not initially aware of specific job site rules and operations. Operating heavy, dangerous machinery that can cause immense damage and even loss of life means that the operator needs to know the specific requirements of every job site. For example, they might need some specific information about clearance issues, shared spaces or ground quality.

Has a Pre-Operational Inspection Been Undertaken?

All cranes are inspected frequently, but a pre-operation inspection should take place before every use. This involves testing each control, limit switch and emergency stop control. In the case of a mobile crane, this means checking fluid levels, tyre pressures, and driving controls. The wire rope and hoist should be examined for defects, as well as all rigging components.

Who Are the Spotters?

Operating a crane is not a one man job. In order to avoid collisions, safety observers (spotters) should be designated and known to the crane operator. The crane operator should be able to rely on these spotters to see their blind spots and guide them during a lift.

Have You Tested the Ground?

Hiring a mobile crane can be an extremely useful and productive tool on your worksite. However, it can also be a perilous one. If the crane needs to make a heavy lift, it will set out outriggers. If these outriggers are placed on untested terrain that possibly has a sinkhole or a depression under it, then the outrigger arm is at risk of toppling and bringing the crane down with it. A detailed knowledge of the land upon which the crane will operate is essential to its safe use. 

What Are the Other Potential Hazards?

Hazards may seem like obvious considerations, but often it is not until a crane has been hired and bought onto a sight that the realisation of a potential hazard occurs. Power lines are one of the most obvious hazards to consider, with many crane accidents being caused by contact with an overhead power source.

Need more information about crane hire or onsite safety? Contact Surf City Cranes or explore our information centre.