Avoiding Electrical Hazards While Operating A Crane

30th May 2021

How to Avoid Electrical Hazards While Operating a Crane

Crane operators should always be mindful of electrical hazards when operating an overhead crane. When you’re dealing with high voltage, even a small mistake can be detrimental to you, your crew, and your worksite.

Luckily, Surf City Cranes has ascertained a myriad of crane safety information after 10 years in the crane services industry. Here are our top tips for avoiding electrical hazards while operating a crane:

Ensure Overhead Power Lines are De-Energised

You should never operate a crane near a power line unless you have an Electrical Spotter in place.  The Principal Contractor should have verified that the power lines have been de-energized or separated from the crane by one of the following measures.

First, you can manually de-energise the power lines and use insulated barriers to prevent contact, and create clear indicators of where they are. To prevent contact with the power lines, you can use insulated barriers to ensure proper clearance. Alternatively, you can use cage-type boom guards, insulating links, or proximity warning devices to alert you if you’re getting close to a power line. Remember an electrical spotter must always be in place prior to any lift.

These barriers and devices should never replace your vision. If you cannot see the power lines, you should designate a crew member to observe operations.

Preventative Measures to Avoid an Electrical Accident

The key to safety is to avoid putting yourself in any dangerous electrical situation from the start. Before turning on your crane, ensure that you’ve taken the following preventative measures:

  • Consider any overhead wire to be energised unless you have de-energised it or checked with local authorities.
  • Create insulated barriers between you and all power lines on your job site.
  • Limit your use of cage-type boom guards, insulating links, and proximity warning devices. Rely on a crew member whenever possible.
  • Notify local authorities or power line owners before you begin work.
  • Post warnings on cranes and throughout the job site to warn other crew members that electrical wires are nearby.

Proper Crane Operation Practices

Even if you follow all of the safety precautions above, a lapse in judgment or care could be the difference between an electrical accident or smooth sailing. When you’re operating a crane near power lines, even if you’ve de-energised them, you should take the following precautions during operation:

  • Operate the crane at a slower pace than usual.
  • Never operate the crane near power lines if it’s windy outside. The wind can blow the power lines into your crane.
  • Mark and exclusively travel on safe routes.
  • Avoid uneven ground when possible.
  • Designate and only allow certain operators to use the crane when nearby power lines.
  • Always have an Electrical Spotter in place if working near powerlines.

Safe Crane Operation is Our Priority

At Surf City Cranes, we understand that efficiency is a marriage between safe and knowledgeable crane operation. Following proper safety precautions in the presence of power lines might seem time-consuming, but it can save you from a costly accident in the middle of your project.

If you’re in the market for a crane for hire service in the Gold Coast that prioritises your safety, give us a call on 1300 687 151 or 1300 672 961 to request a quote. We’ll make sure you have the best and safest crane for your job.