Mobile Crane Operations Safety Tips
Mobile cranes are considered to be one of the most useful pieces of equipment used in different construction projects. This heavy equipment is used extensively in jobs that require heavy and large materials to be hoisted, moved, or transported. However, it is important to note that this machinery also causes a very high number of accidents and fatal injuries. Because of their immense power, size, and capabilities, it is critical that mobile crane operations are carried out maintaining a high level of safety. Proper education and training can make your worksites safer and help reduce accidents.
- Understand Your Job Requirement: Before undertaking any task, try to evaluate the capabilities and shortcomings of the equipment you are planning to use. Consider each aspect of the job, and figure out which crane should be used. Before each lift, come up with a plan for it. Run through the safety checklists, and be prepared to abandon a lift when the conditions are not safe enough.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Check: Though it may not be possible to make cranes 100% safe, it is possible for you to minimise hazards on the worksite. Please ensure that anyone working on your crane makes use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, eye protection, and hand protection. Additional equipment may be required under certain situations.
- Potential Electric Hazard: Electric hazards are potentially the most dangerous situations for a crane operator. For example, if the hoist lines or booms come in contact with a power line while hoisting materials, there is a serious risk of electrocution for anyone on the ground. These unforeseen events can be prevented by maintaining a pre-job checklist for electrical hazards.
- Operator Manuals: Always make sure that your crane operators read their manuals thoroughly. Before operating these machines, it is necessary to have a full understanding of it. This should include checking the manuals for controls, load capacity, safety mechanisms, and counterweights & stabilisers.
- Right Crane Selection: Selecting the right crane is the first step in safe crane operation. Consider the worksite to determine the crane type suitable for the job. Depending on the specifics of your worksite, you may choose a crawler crane, rough-terrain crane, all-terrain crane, or carry deck crane.
- Lift Plan: Even if the lift is not critical, plan out all aspects of the lift. Before the lift, make sure that you are fully aware of crane capacity, weight of the load, and where it needs to be. This is particularly important for critical or complex lifts.
- High Wind: Unexpected gusts of wind can cause havoc in the middle of a lift. High winds can cause a load to be dropped or even knock a crane over. To reduce the probability of such mishaps, crane load capacity charts should be checked for wind speed notes. The lift should be cancelled, if wind speeds remain above 20 mph. All operations should cease if there is a forecast of inclement weather.
- Avoid Two-way Blocking: Two-way blocking takes place when the auxiliary ball or load block comes in contact with the auxiliary nose, boom extension, or boom nose of the crane. This can cause serious damage to a crane. To prevent an accident, the operator and spotters should know where the auxiliary ball and/or load block is with reference to the boom and/or boom extension.
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