Cranes are essential to lifting heavy loads, meaning that they are a constant presence in many work environments. As they are so commonly used, it’s easy to forget that they can cause tremendous damage, injury or even death if incorrectly used. Anyone who works with cranes needs to be constantly aware of the risks they pose, ensuring that all reasonable precautions are taken. This includes selecting the right crane and ensuring that the operator is well trained and experienced.
Selecting The Correct Crane
The first step in ensuring crane safety is to make sure you’re using the right crane for the job. Firstly, determine if you need a fixed or mobile crane. Fixed cranes are static cranes that are constructed on-site and are generally used for industrial settings or construction projects that have height requirements. While mobile cranes are appropriate for other construction projects depending on the worksite conditions. For example, crawler cranes are a good choice for sites with soft terrain while rough-terrain cranes are great for sites with steep slopes and bumpy terrain. Other factors to consider when selecting the right crane for the job include the required load weight, lifting height and horizontal moving distance.
A crane can be an incredibly dangerous piece of equipment if misused. It is absolutely essential that the crane operator has completed the relevant training courses and received a statement of attainment and a high risk license. The operator should also be experienced in operating the specific crane being used as every crane has unique controls and features. Reading the operating manual in detail can help ensure the operator understands the controls and features of the crane inside-out. Crane operators should also demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of crane safety procedures and must never operate a crane under the influence.
When you purchase or take ownership of a crane, it will come with detailed information on the required maintenance including fluid change, belt replacement and more. A well-maintained crane is much less likely to experience a malfunction on a worksite. In addition to this periodic maintenance, the project manager and crane operator should run through a detailed safety checklist before every use. This checklist should include things like:
· Tire condition
· Oil levels
· Seat belts
· Air reservoir
· Engine checks
· Fuel level
· Turn signals
· Hydraulic system
· Safety system checks (evaluation of the anti-two block, rated capacity limiter and outriggers)
Project Site Condition
It’s extremely important to check the weather and ground conditions daily as conditions can vary drastically every day. During the daily safety check, the project manager should test the ground to ensure it is capable of withstanding the pressure of the crane as well as checking the wind speed. Lifting on grounds that are too soft or during strong winds can lead to crane instability.
Cranes are a powerful piece of machinery and when used correctly. They can also pose a serious risk if operated incorrectly. Selecting the right crane and operator is crucial to ensuring everyone’s safety. If you’re looking to hire a mobile crane in Sydney, contact St George Cranes today.