Crane Safety - Are You on Top of the Risks?
Hiring a crane for your workplace for the first time is a significant decision, and some serious planning and forethought are necessary. Of course, as the business owner, your overriding issue is workplace safety, and doing things right can mean the difference between life and death where cranes are concerned.
This practical guide will help you understand the ways you can manage the key crane safety issues and keep your workplace safe.
The first priority is to create a detailed crane safety plan. Starting by identifying all potential crane-related hazards and then finding some ways to eliminate them.
Here are some of the key areas you need recognize and include in a well-managed plan.
Understand Crane Hazards
As well as knowing the hazards yourself, all your personnel working around the crane should know the risks. Everyone needs to be on the watch and take steps to avoid any potential accidents.
- Overhead Dangers - Because they operate at high heights, cranes are in danger of hitting power lines. Unfortunately, the metal in the crane is a natural conductor, so if it hits an electrical line, it can lead to fatal electrocution. Awareness of the position of all electrical wires is paramount.
- Crane Overload - Cranes are powerful and capable of lifting astonishing loads. However, each machine has a limit. Operators need to know the exact capacity of the machine and how much weight they need to lift each and every time. Overloading can cause a crane to tip over or to drop a load, which can have devastating results.
- Unstable Materials - Every load should be thoroughly secured to prevent material from falling off. As an extra prevention measure, all workers need to avoid the immediate area. Dropping a heavy object from a high height is to be avoided at all costs.
- Crane Movement - To get a load in place, a crane will often have to twist and turn. This creates a pinch point where the limbs of an unwary operator or loader can be seriously injured or even crushed.
Know Personal Equipment Requirements
Even after the crane hazards have been identified and eliminated, there is still the need to ensure that all personnel are protected in the event of something going amiss.
There are certain requirements of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for those who work around cranes.
It should be mandatory for all those working around the crane site to wear a hard hat at all times. No one can predict when something may be dislodged and fall. Even a small object dropping from a crane can cause a serious head injury when there is no protection in place.
Regular hard hat maintenance checks are required to check for any dents or abnormalities in the shell and to ensure that all inside connections are tightly in place.
The hats should not be stored in direct sunlight and must be replaced if involved in any sort of impact, even if there is barely any noticeable damage.
Safety goggles are an essential item of protective gear. A crane site is usually a dusty and dirty area, and eye protection is necessary to avoid irritants. It is also vital that crane operators can clearly see what they are doing.
A regular maintenance inspection will discover any cracked or deformed lenses or worn straps.
Safety gloves are required to prevent hands from pinching or crushing injuries when loading and unloading. The gloves need careful inspection for signs of holes and should be replaced if showing any signs of deterioration.
Providing and maintaining these items are an essential duty and part of your responsibility as a business owner. Staying vigilant and implementing your crane safety plan at all times will help keep your workplace safe.
To learn more, contact a crane supplier.