Cranes are highly efficient equipment used at construction sites. Their core purpose is to lift heavy loads. If misused, they can cause major accidents with severe consequences.
As per research, most accidents involving cranes result from electrocution or being struck by heavy loads. It is crucial to use the best crane lifting attachments to reduce the risk of accidents. Given below are some safety tips to prevent accidents in the first place.
Using the Right Crane
The first step towards ensuring safety is using the right crane for the right job. Depending upon the purpose of use—industrial or construction—the crane should be fixed or mobile. For instance, if the crane is to be used on steep terrain, a crane made for this terrain must be used. If the ground is soft, you need a crawler crane with tracks instead of wheels. Common types of cranes are:
- Crawler Cranes: They are usedon soft ground;
- Carry Deck Cranes: These are easy to set up high mobility cranes. However, they are not suitable for rough terrain.
- All-Terrain Cranes: These are the most versatile cranes and can handle any terrain.
- Rough-Terrain Cranes: These are best for rough terrain.
Hire Qualified Personnel
Safe handling of cranes calls for qualified personnel. In their absence, things could potentially get riskier and more harmful. Besides safety, it is also required by the law to use skilled people to handle the crane. Ensure that all regulations are adhered to while operating the crane.
Read the Operating Manual Thoroughly
Different types of cranes from various manufacturers have different unique features. Ensure that the personnel thoroughly read the operating manual before operating the crane. This manual contains crucial information on the following:
- Safety Mechanism
- Load Capacity
Carry Out Daily Checks
Before operating the crane every day, carrying out three basic checks is crucial.
Pre-Start: Before operating the crane, check the oil level, condition of the tires, battery, seat belts, and air reservoir.
Engine: The crane operator must start the engine and check the oil level, pressure gauge, turn signals, and other related aspects.
Safety System: The final step includes a safety system check to prevent major accidents. It involves evaluating the outriggers, anti-two block, and the capacity limiter.
Clear All Obstacles
Before moving the crane, clear the planned path and free it from all possible obstacles. Some hazardous obstacles, such as electric lines, cannot be moved. Avoid these obstacles by maintaining a safe distance.
Rig Load Properly
Use appropriate crane lifting attachments depending upon the type of load to be carried. This prevents the load from falling or colliding with people on site. Objects to be lifted can be attached in various configurations. The most common ones are choker and basket hitching.
Signal and Communicate Properly
There are standard hand signals to communicate as per protocol while operating the crane. Qualified personnel must communicate effectively with the crane operator to avoid any accidents. Receiving real-time alerts can help adapt to the situation as it occurs.
Proper planning is the ideal way to prevent unforeseen accidents. Besides the aforementioned safety tips, nobody must stand under a loaded crane. When qualified personnel operate the crane while following guidelines, the risk is minimum.