Five Ways to Create Safety on Your Cranes

Creating a company culture of safety is extremely important to preventing dangerous situations for crane operators. Safe workplaces blend good training, well thought-out work procedures, and strong communication between employees and safety leaders.

In construction, the use of cranes is regulated under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1926, Subpart CC. This regulation was updated in 2010 and details the responsibilities with respect to crane safety. Beyond what OSHA provides, there are many national consensus standards that have the full force of the law. Certain states also have regulations that are more restrictive than federal laws.

Hazards are always present on a jobsite, so it’s up to the company to ensure their operators have the right tools and training. A large percentage of crane accidents are the result of improper crane setup. Many of these are due to improper or inadequate outrigger support. In order to create a safer environment there are five questions that can be asked to help analyze the level of crane safety on the jobsite.

1. Are my operators trained and qualified to use this piece of equipment?

Operators need two types of training before using aerial equipment: general training and familiarization. General training covers general safety rules and operational safety topics. Operators need specific unit training before they operate any unfamiliar device.

2. Are my operators carrying out the safest work practices?

Safe work practices take place after training when operators are out on the job. Before the operator begins work, they must go through several checks and inspections to ensure safe operation. Operators must also ensure they are using proper personal protective equipment and fall protection equipment. Safe work practices should also emphasize minimum clearances from energized apparatus and lifting loads that do not exceed the unit’s load capacity.

3. How am I helping to prevent on-the-job accidents?

Proper training and safe work practices help operators address hazards that may arise during each job. Fall hazards, equipment stability concerns, and electrical hazards are very common issues on the job site. It is crucial that operators use the correct fall protection equipment, stay outside minimum approach distances to energized conductors, and take time to properly set up the unit before every job.

4. Are my operators using the right truck for the job?

There are several factors that go into choosing the right equipment. Operating height, reach, and material handling load capacity are just a couple of the more important considerations. Choosing a slightly larger unit with greater load capacity can give an extra margin of safety compared to using a smaller unit at its maximum capacity.

5. Is my maintenance program keeping my operators safe?

If the company already has equipment in their fleet, it should be regularly serviced to ensure it is safe for operation. The operators will report deficiencies and request additional service work as needs arise. Creating a company culture of safety is extremely important in keeping operators safe on the jobsite. By using these tips, you can work to ensure a safe jobsite for all each and every day.

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