Overhead cranes are a great addition to any construction site, yet these cranes should be handled accordingly as they can put people at risk. The advantage of overhead cranes is that they can be used to lift up and transport heavy materials with the push of a button, without tiring out a whole group of construction workers. The ability of these magnificent machines is as important as the safety hazards they entail.
This page will address the different safety hazards you can come across when handling a crane. It will serve as a guide on how to avoid coming face to face with these hazards while operating an overhead crane.
Preparation and proper maintenance are as important as understanding how to operate heavy machinery. Before an overhead crane can be used on a construction site, the operator has to check the surroundings to see whether the overhead crane will be able to function on the site. You have to take overhead power lines, traffic and other buildings into consideration, not mention the amount of people who may or may not be in the surrounding area. Add to this, the amount of people in the vicinity, be sure to consider the overhead crane’s functionality.
Have you ever looked at a crane and thought about what would happen if the material it is carrying were to fall? The truth is that this can happen if the overhead crane’s safety features are not followed accordingly. One of the most important things is to make sure that the person operating the machinery is competent to work with a crane. Regular and routine tests are important as it will help the operator to know the weight that the overhead crane is able to lift. Another important factor is the equipment you are using to hoist the material. The operator should make sure that the material is fastened/ strapped safely and securely before attempting to lift and transport heavy material.
Besides checking the crane’s mechanical features, the construction workers should always be sure to wear safety boots and head gear when on site and of course close to the crane. It is important to know that the man himself is as important as his garments, therefore the operator should be aware of the crane’s functionality and capability. Overloading of overhead cranes is, in most cases, caused by incompetent or ill-advised operators. In the event that an operator is unaware of the crane’s loading capacity, it could lead to overloading which could result in materials falling or machinery breaking. The other hazard that goes unnoticed, until it happens of course, is the probability of the crane getting into contact with a power line. This not only poses a threat to the crane operator, but to all people close to the crane. Not to mention the amount of money it would cost to fix the power line. It should be noted that these hazards occur because of faulty planning and can be avoided.