Tips for safer crane operations

When it comes to heavy equipment, cranes are perhaps one of the most potentially dangerous pieces of all due to their sheer size and weight. Below are some tips for crane operators to stay safer on the job.

  • Don’t override the computer system in the crane.
  • Before starting up a new mobile crane, make sure to read the load charts.
  • Note all hazards above, such as power lines and buildings.
  • No cellphones should be in use when the crane is turned on.
  • Operators should always be prepared to stop and evaluate the work situation and develop a safer lift plan should circumstances warrant.
  • Remain aware to changing conditions involving co-workers, weather and more.
  • Prior to turning the ignition key, double check the fluid levels, gas and oil.
  • Make sure the ground conditions can support both the crane and potential suspended payloads prior to starting the crane.
  • Crane operators must ensure that they are using the necessary cribbing and pads so they don’t sink or have an outrigger fail as they lift.
  • Prior to a shift, do a walk-around the crane while checking for MESH – mechanical, electrical, structural and hydraulic issues.

Crane operators are highly trained and most are skilled at what they do and very safety conscious. However, in recent years, the media has reported on several incidents with cranes that resulted in one or more on the job fatalities. While accidents can occur anywhere at any time, remaining vigilant about safety on construction sites goes a long way toward making them safer for all.

Those who have been injured while working on a construction site may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries.

Source: Industrial Training International, “10 Tips for Better Mobile Crane Operations,” Randy Burbach, accessed April. 14, 2015