Stability – the Key to Avoiding Crane-Related Accidents

Posted on March 14, 2018 in Gantry Cranes

While there are many types of gantry and crane-related accidents that occur every year, tipping due to equipment instability is by far the most common of all.  In most cases, crane operator error or the failure to follow crane rating guidelines inevitably leads to this type of mishap.  If you’ve ever experienced this type of accident, you already know the feeling of a crane coming up behind you.  If you haven’t experienced a tip-over, we sincerely hope you never do.

Causes of Tip-Overs

Crane-related accidents or tip-overs can be attributed to a number of circumstances.  For instance, the rear outriggers of the crane have been known to lift up off the ground.  In other less fortunate instances, the crane simply tips over.  Regardless of the situation at hand, the most common cause of crane tip-overs is instability.  While most accidents of this type typically happen in the load’s direction, once they lose 14stability, they can tip in any direction and turn over. That is why it is important to educate the employee about the right usage. In most cases, the company representative will help with a quick demonstration and instructions so that accidents can be avoided.

Preventing the Accident

According to the most recent US Bureau of Labor statistics, there is an average of 80 crane-related accidents that end in fatalities every year.  Furthermore, the cranes that tip or turn over are oftentimes smaller and mobile varieties.  The easiest way to avoid these accidents is by ensuring that the crane is properly set up and by not lifting more than what is specified on that particular crane’s loading chart.  Conversely, the larger cranes collapse during assembly or disassembly and when they’re being extended.

Unfortunately, many accidents have turned deadly in the past.  A good method to employ as a back-up operating plan is to start by trying to lift the load in a position that is the least stable and then gradually swing the crane toward a more stable direction.  As you continue lifting your load, this method will help prevent overloading of the crane.  So if you accidentally miscalculate the weight of the load, you’ll know right away and will be able to prevent the crane from tipping.

Most importantly, working with a good quality piece of equipment, following all safety guidelines, and paying attention to weight limits is the best way to prevent a crane from becoming unstable and tipping over.  Furthermore, it’s important to understand how balance and leverage go hand-in-hand with crane stability and the prevention of crane accidents that could be life-threatening or even fatal. That is why it is important to look at the safety features of the gantry before buying it.

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