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6 Crane Safety Tips to Prevent Accidents

Construction sites rely on cranes to lift heavy loads. With that being said, cranes are very powerful machines and they should be used carefully. Cranes and the loads they carry can both become dangerous if not handled properly. No employee should have to work in hazardous conditions where their life is at stake, so it’s extremely important to know as much as possible about crane safety on the job.

These are just a few types of problems that that can occur and cause harmful crane accidents:

  • Improper rigging of load
  • Ignoring load weight guidelines
  • Load mistakenly striking a structure or individual
  • Crane collapse

Luckily, these kinds of situations are rare and most importantly, preventable. At Westminster Hydraulics, Inc., our cranes are highly reliable and include top-rated safety systems. If you purchase a crane from a respectable company such as ours and follow the guidelines listed below, you won’t have to worry.

1. Train Your Workers Properly

Proper training is your first line of defense against crane accidents, so this is one area you don’t want to let slide. No one should operate a crane without being certified. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), only trained and certified workers are lawfully allowed to drive and maneuver cranes. Any employee who is not certified, licensed and evaluated can only use the equipment during a training period with another supervisor present.

2. Know Your Manuals

Even if you have been working with cranes for years, you shouldn’t assume you understand everything about how they work. Furthermore, each crane is different: the failsafe mechanisms and controls vary from one piece of equipment to the next. This is why your operator’s manual is so vital on the job. An operator’s manual provides more detailed information about various adjustments, safety instructions, controls, the load capacity and how to stabilize the crane.

3. Perform Regular Inspections

Even if a crane seems to be running well, you might not know about potential problems taking place with the working parts inside the machine. If you perform regular inspections, larger issues will be avoided. Ideally, these checks should be done daily. Prior to operating the crane, initiate a starting check at the beginning of the day to inspect the battery, seat belts, oil, and tires. Next, the engine should be tested and the operator should ensure the turn signals, horn, and pressure gauge are all in working order. Finally, checking safety system components is of the utmost importance. Inspect the capacity limiter, outriggers and anti-two blocking system as well as the hydraulics before starting any project.

4. Choose the Right Crane

In addition to operating a crane correctly, you should also choose one that is best suited for the job at hand to prevent accidents. Mobile cranes come in a wide variety of options like: carry deck cranes, crawler cranes, all-terrain cranes and rough-terrain cranes. A carry deck crane can be useful because it is so user-friendly, but if you use it on a rough terrain it could cause a hazardous situation. Crawler cranes are also better suited for smooth terrain jobs.

5. Communicate and Use Signals

Next to training, frequent communication is key to crane safety. Think about taking your car out on the road. Without turn signals, many more accidents would occur between vehicles. The same thing applies to cranes; the only difference is that hand signals and radio communication methods are used by the operator instead. A set of customary hand signals are used continually to let the operator know where to go, when to maneuver and lift the boom system, and when to come to a stop.

6. Know Your Load Capacity

Modern technologies like indicators and limiters might make it easier to tell when a load has reached its max, but you should still be aware of different load capacities. Load charts are a highly valuable tool for arranging a safe lift and averting crane accidents. With that being said, varying conditions can also affect your crane’s load capacity: if the boom is hanging in front of the crane, it can haul more. However, if it’s swinging, the capacity will always be lower. In addition, when outriggers are utilized, the load capacity is greater.

Learn More about Crane Safety with Westminster Hydraulics

Westminster Hydraulics, Inc. provides businesses like yours with the resources and experience needed to offer customized solutions to your material handling equipment needs. Some (but not all of) industries that we service include roofing, general construction, utilities, and tree care. We have been recognized as one of the leading truck mounted equipment installation facilities in the Mid-Atlantic, and we offer both new and used equipment to meet your needs. Our product offerings include Palfinger cranes, liftgates, hooklifts, Manitex trolley booms and precast loaders, Sellick forklifts and Mecanil grapple saws. We go above and beyond to meet the needs of all of our clients, and we have been specializing in offering high-quality trucks and equipment like trolley booms and precast loaders to meet the precise requirements of our clients since 1979. Contact us today at (888)-818-4583.

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