Importance of High Precision Standards and Safe Crane Operation

Posted on October 4, 2017 in Gantry Cranes

Efficient and safe crane operation requires a great deal of skill, adhering to proven safety practices, alertness and concentration, and exercising extreme care and good judgment.  Every crane operator, whether they are directing lifting and handling tasks or slinging loads must be competent and thoroughly trained in all facets of crane operations.  All employees and operators must be aware of the following

  • Careful examining and reviewing of all operations and processes
  • Developing safety procedures for crane operations
  • Managing and planning lifting operations
  • Properly supervising all lifting operations

This is all outlined in the most recently published ANSI and OSHA safety practices and standards manuals.

3 Significant Dangers to be Aware of

Although mobile cranes and tower cranes have numerous applications in construction projects, they oftentimes present the following 3 significant dangers:

  • Accidents caused by a lack of awareness or poor communication – numerous incidents involving cranes contacting electrical lines or people being struck by moving loads and materials
  • Crane collapse – potential for multiple bystander and employee fatalities
  • Falling loads / snapping sling lines – potential for fatalities or major injuries due to high winds that cause loads to fall in confined spaces

In many cases, the operator and project supervisor are legally responsible for the safe operation of their cranes.  When a crane is hired for a project, the crane operator or the hiring company (if explicitly stated in the contract) is responsible for supervising, planning, and performing the lifting operations.

Crane Operating Safety

In order to ensure that all lifting operations are carried out safely, they must be carefully planned by the crane operator.  If it is a complex procedure, a “method statement” or written record must be created and include the following:

  • Care and maintenance – there should be plan in place if any issues arise during scheduled care and maintenance tasks as well as a documented process for examining and moving the equipment
  • Equipment identified properly – selection and usage of the correct crane and related work equipment
  • Planning details – including crane assembling and disassembly, preparation, and safety review
  • Safety Measures – implanted in order to ensure that employees that aren’t involved in lifting operations and the general public are safe

You must have the right degree of supervision in place for such operations.  These should reflect the amount of risk and the people that are involved in the operation.

There should also be a competent, experienced, and knowledgeable crane supervisor present to carry out these responsibilities.  Furthermore, they must be certified and have taken all relevant, safety classes.  Most importantly, the project manager or supervisor should have the authority necessary to call for a stoppage of lifting operations should the operation become too hazardous to employees. This is an important aspect of preventing injuries and ensuring safety at the workplace.

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