Overhead Crane Inspection Guide

Hand signal guide for crane operators

Being prepared is the best way to avoid an accident, and this is especially true when it comes to overhead cranes. OSHA has found that an average of 71 crane-related fatalities happen each year. In most of these cases, an inspection could have identified the fatal problem before tragedy struck. That’s also not counting the thousands of less-serious accidents involving cranes that could have been prevented if the equipment had been subjected to the required inspection. Although these accidents may not result in the loss of life, they can result in injuries as well as serious fines for safety violations and costly downtime.

Regularly inspecting overhead crane equipment is one of the most important steps companies can take to cut down on these unfortunate crane-related incidents. However, it is crucial that operators and supervisors do more than give their equipment a quick glance to see if everything simply looks all right. Overhead crane equipment must be put through a rigorous and thorough inspection process before it can be cleared for safe crane operation. What’s more, there are dozens of inspection points that must be checked during these inspections. Additionally, certain inspection points must be checked on a more frequent basis than others, so it is essential that operators and supervisors understand OSHA’s requirements for these inspections. The following crane guide illustrates many of the most important inspection points on overhead crane equipment. By following it, companies can help ensure that their equipment and their job sites will be much safer and better prepared.

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Overhead Crane & Inspection Guidelines courtesy of Crane 1

6 Things to Do to Curb Crane Accidents at Construction Worksites

6 Things to Do to Curb Crane Accidents at Construction Worksites

Construction sites have stringent safety protocols in place to prevent adverse events and accidents. Even with all the precautions and preventive procedures, fatal injury rate for the industry is quite high. This can be attributed to a number of reasons ranging from oversight on part of site managers to malfunctioning equipment. Another probable cause is the sheer size of the industry where at any given day more than 6.5 million people are at work at work sites numbering an approximate 252,000.

Cranes cause significant and serious injuries if they are not inspected and checked before use for defects. Fatal injuries can occur if an untrained person operates a crane or if the crane is not used properly. There are several recommendations put forth by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that try to mitigate worker safety issues while using a crane.

Tower and mobile cranes are most commonly used in construction sites. Here are a few things that you need to know in order to avoid accidents in your work site.

  • How Do Injuries Occur?

Grievous injuries occur both on and off-site when a crane collapses or when a worker is struck by overhead load. Accidents and fatal injuries also occur when a worker comes in way of a crane’s swing radius, cranes come in contact with a power line or conductor, or when cranes collide with each other.

All of these present possibilities of multiple injuries and fatalities.

Ill-planned and ill-executed crane operations cause delay and obstructions at the construction site, and also cause accidents.

Ensure you follow safety rules and adhere to user instructions. Being scrupulous about adhering to safety rules is the best thing you can do to avoid worksite accidents.

  • Plan Well

Crane operations need to be planned in advance to avoid mishaps. A trained and experienced person has to evaluate the site conditions and address the risks present. Crane operator and other crew members must be aware of potential hazards in the worksite and other unusual operating conditions. The required resources, procedures to be followed and responsibilities of personnel need to be worked out.

Lifting equipment including slings and other accessories should of adequate strength to carry out the operations. They should be tested and inspected for quality. They have to remain safe for the entire range of jobs and period of operations.

  • Follow Safe Work Protocols

It is important to check crane controls and signalling arrangements before commencing work. Wire ropes, chains, hooks and all rigging systems should be checked for strength and efficacy. The load being lifted should not exceed the rated capacity for the make and model of your crane and lifting equipment.

Failure of brake systems is another reason behind work site accidents involving cranes. Raise the load a bit and check the effectiveness of the brake system before launching operations.

Properly trained and competent personnel should operate the crane. They must have prior experience handling similar job role and responsibilities.

Cranes should not be operated without approval of a higher authority. Also there should be a competent authority supervising crane operations who can signal the user if anything goes wrong.

  • Evaluate the Ground Conditions

Many incidents occur at work sites when cranes tip over due to poor or unstable ground conditions.

In addition to ground anomalies a range of other factors also result in cranes tipping over. The outriggers of mobile cranes need to be fully extended or as specified by the manufacturer. When this is not done cranes tip over.

Insufficient counter weights and wind also cause accidents. Another cause behind cranes tipping over is wrongly calculated loads that exceed crane capacity.

Ensure that cranes operate under optimal conditions to avoid worker injuries and fatalities.

  • Maintain a Safety Zone

If possible, it is recommended to maintain a barricaded safety zone to prevent entry of unauthorized people into the lift area. People, structures and other equipment that come in the crane’s swing radius cause accidents and worker injuries. Such incidents occur when the path of the load is not clearly planned and when cranes operate in crowded or high traffic areas.

This is applicable while using overhead cranes in industrial environments as well.

  • Carry out Inspections Regularly

OSHA publishes safety and regulatory rules that need to be followed when operating cranes at construction sites.

Inspections have to be carried out on shift, monthly and annual basis for crane equipment and wire ropes. Post-assembly inspections are mandatory to ensure that cranes are in optimal working condition. Pre-erection inspection is necessary for tower cranes. Four-year inspections for key components like vessel or floatation device is also recommended by OSHA.

Safety and reliability of crane operations depend as much on the user as on the crane hirer. When a crane is hired, planning, supervising and operating responsibilities fall on the user, unless explicitly expressed otherwise.

Conclusion

Safety and security of crane operations depend on a number of factors. It is important to ensure that crane equipment and accessories are maintained well. If you follow the cranes standard set by OSHA, you will be able to reduce accidents at work site drastically.

 

Some Tips To Select The Right Crane

some tips to select the right crane

These valuable tips will help you select the right crane for your project

Cranes have been used by humans from a long time. Now, work in almost any industry is impossible without cranes. If you have a project that would require the use of a crane, you need to research about what kind of crane would serve the purpose.

The information that you require would be related to proper load rating of the crane, the type of ground where the crane has to operate and other factors. You would need all of that information before reaching a decision on which crane to use.

Crane tips has brought numerous knowledgeable articles for its readers and it keeps providing quality information. This article presented here is in the form of a series of questions and answers that would help you reach the right decision about your crane.

Read the complete article to learn how to select the right crane!

The questions and answers related to the topic are presented below:

How High is the Work to Be Done?

The height of the work is going to impact how the boom is set up, as well as what kind of boom will be necessary. Furthermore, the extension of the crane’s boom can be affected by the wind, which increases exponentially as the height increases. In addition, the amount of counterweight needed to heft loads to ever-increasing heights needs to be calculated differently versus if the height is lower. Tower cranes now have dramatically higher capacity than they once did, and they can often lift over 1,000 meters into the air.

What Material and Condition is the Ground Beneath the Crane?

Cranes need a solid support structure beneath them to support the load and to keep their movement stabilized. While truck mounted cranes are often useful when there is concrete to support the crane itself, outriggers are sometimes not enough on unstable terrain. Rough terrain cranes offer the necessary mobility for grass or dirt surfaces without compromising most of the strength. When there is an uneven substrate, you need to consider the width of the crane’s base.

What Kinds of Obstacles are There?

In many environments, especially urban and suburban ones, cranes need to be adapted to circumventing obstacles. In addition to winds, there may be power lines, other buildings and other obstacles that can keep a crane from being able to simply raise the load directly from its origin point to its destination. In some instances, even the control scheme the crane uses can be difficult in the presence of obstacles, with pendant station cables getting caught. Radio controls may be more effective and less potentially hazardous.

How May the Crane Affect the General Public?

Just like how tower cranes are affected heavily by windy weather, the public in the area the crane is operating may be affected by this operation. If the crane’s size impacts the flow of traffic beyond a reasonable threshold, this can cause problems for the entire construction site. Further, if the crane is likely to cause issues with the operation of nearby buildings, this needs to be taken into consideration prior to selecting the type of crane you are going to use for your project.

To learn more about picking the right crane, read the full article on tips how to select the right crane!

Tips To Handle Construction Risk

Some tips to handle construction risk

Some handy tips to help you handle construction risk

Construction has always been a very prolific field. It has continued to be an ever-green field with numerous jobs for people with different backgrounds.  In addition to being a great field, construction also has certain risks that other fields do not have. In fact, it may not be wrong to say that construction is one of the riskiest fields out there.

Crane Tips is all about cranes and construction. We deeply care about our valuable readers and that is the reason we share great information with all of you on a regular basis.

As stated above, construction is indeed a difficult and risky field but the risks in construction can be handled and lowered by employing some tips and following certain strategies.

The strategies to manage the risks in construction are presented here, so that you can handle the project in a safe and wise manner.

Do not miss out the golden tips to manage construction risk by reading the complete article!

Allocate Risk

The contract negotiation and preparation phase is the best time for all project leaders, including the owner, contractors, architects, and building manager, to come together and anticipate all potential risks and assign responsibility of those risks to parties most apt to handle them should the unwanted arise. For example, the building owner and architect should be charged with ensuring design and environment issues are worked out and should draft a plan in case something arises. Meanwhile, contractors should be charged with ensuring personnel are equipped with all the necessary safety guidelines and understand how best to maneuver the environment with equipment in a safe and secure manner.

Managing Funding Risks and Feasibility Risks

These two types of risks are commonly described as “invisible risks” as they are rarely apparent until they are, in which they change the entire game. Yet, with careful preparation and research, most undertaking construction tasks can avoid them.

The first, feasibility risks, arise most commonly out of environmental issues that were not fully addressed in the original plan proposal. They include things like:

  • Extreme weather-based delays
  • Unforeseen factors of a specific location
  • New issues with coding and zoning laws

The ‘Management’ in Risk Management

Finally, it is important to note that this article is entitled with “managing construction risks” because the critical lesson here is not how to avoid all unwanted occupancies, but how to cope with the inevitable. Here, you research, prepare, and assign. Understand all of the potential issues with a construction project, consult with the available experts and professionals, set aside budgets to deal with funding risks, and ensure you have the right insurance in place before signing contracts.

Learn more about this important topic by reading the complete guide on managing construction risk.