Practiced by crane operators, crane safety maintenance personnel and other employees continue to be of critical importance in minimizing the incidence of accidents. Technology can go only so far in eliminating the dangers. Human error continues to be a major cause of crane accidents. Human error may include such factors as failing to perform regularly scheduled inspections or maintenance, personnel entering restricted areas where they are not authorized to be, momentary inattention and exceeding the rated load capacity of a crane. Due to their power, cranes need to be operated with respect and knowledge. All personnel responsible for crane operation need to be properly trained in crane safety techniques and crane operations to assure safe handling of the equipment. Within a year, injuries caused by working with or near cranes, hoists and similar equipment account for thousands of lost-time claims. There are certain
crane safety rules that must be followed by everyone who works with or near this type of crane equipment. Here are some safety precautions for workers in the operating areas of cranes or hoists, but who are not directly involved with their operation or use:
– Stay alert and pay attention to the warning signal from overhead hoisting equipment.
– Never stand or walk under a load, whether it’s moving or stationary.
– Always warn others of moving and approaching overhead loads.
– Never attempt to distract signal persons or operators of the overhead equipment while they are performing their jobs.
– Always obey warning signs, especially those that are posted in critical areas. Now let’s discuss the safety rules for operators, signal persons and hookup crews.
– Check to see that the equipment you are about to operate has been properly inspected and is certified for operation.
– Perform an operational inspection as required for that piece of equipment.
– Test the warning signal or device to make sure it is working properly.
– Never operate a crane that is unsafe.
– Before starting work, check the brakes and all controls.
– Never permit an unauthorized person to operate the crane or give the signals.
– Always be sure that the operator and signal persons are in direct and clear view, or in communication by phone.
– Never carry a load over other workers.
– Always use warning signals before and during moves.
– Never allow anyone to ride on the load or hooks.
– If a load appears to be slung improperly, lower it and have it adjusted.
– When oiling, adjusting or repairing the equipment, always lock the main control in the off position or have someone guard it.