What is Typically Involved in Crane Failure Incidents?

Posted on October 18, 2017 in Gantry Cranes

No matter what type of gantry crane you use on your construction or project site, proper care and preventative maintenance will help you avoid breakdowns and operational failures.  They should also be thoroughly inspected at regularly scheduled intervals in order to ensure their proper and safe operation.  Furthermore, all other equipment and machinery should likewise be inspected and maintained accordingly.  Otherwise, the lack of proper care and maintenance might lead to some very expensive repairs.

Any crane or crane part failure can ultimately result in some very costly downtime and lost productivity along with a number of other consequences.  In addition to this, the performance of repairs oftentimes becomes necessary and will likely lead to further costly delays in operation.  The failure of cranes and their materials lifting and handling systems typically involves one or more of the following factors:

  • Failure of hoists and/or luffing wires – the lack of maintenance or poor maintenance of the luffing wires can lead to weakening of it. Over time, inappropriate crane operation and the improper use of the luffing wire can cause serious damage.
  • Failure of the equipment or machinery – the lack of proper maintenance or poorly performed maintenance can cause incorrect operation, overloading, or complete failure of the crane.
  • Failure of the structure – the lack of maintenance or poor maintenance of the various components can lead to incorrect crane operation or weakened structures. In turn, this can cause damage to the structures as well.

When any incident, be it major or minor, occurs during operation, proper safety protocol mandates that you immediately stop operations.  The next step is to investigate and inspect the equipment and machinery.  These incidents could include failure of:

  • any part of the crane’s structure
  • bearings or sheaves
  • components
  • electrical systems
  • hoist or luffing wire

This could be caused by contact between the crane’s structure and some other object, failure of the maintenance system or any recent repairs, or mishandling of the crane by the operator.  During the investigation and inspection of the crane, it is important that the following facts are established:

  • Crane components or parts involved
  • Nature and extent of all necessary repairs
  • Nature and extent of the failure
  • Reasons behind the failure

Once the investigation and inspection stage is completed, remedial action should start as soon as possible.  Any work that involves load-bearing systems or structural repairs should be re-tested before putting the crane back into operation.  All parts that broke or failed should be kept on site for future examination and testing.  Plus, all incidents need to be documented including the details of any findings and the remedial action that was performed.  Additionally, a full report inclusive of all details should be submitted to the crane operator’s office.

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