If you’re either working in construction, managing construction operations or simply purchasing new equipment, there is a lot more to crane operation than finding an all-terrain crane for sale, and then hopping in and driving. Those that want to effectively use these important pieces of equipment must learn the ins and outs as well as understand safety precautions. Since these vehicles are so massive and complex there is lots that can go wrong for those that are unprepared. This guide will give you an overview of safety in crane operation so you’re prepared onsite.
Types of Cranes Used in Construction and Safety Profiles
Before jumping into safety precautions it’s important to consider the different types of cranes and their uses before getting our hands dirty. First off, you need to ensure you’re using the most appropriately sized machine for the job, with some suited for smaller projects and others better for larger loads, getting a sense of what your capacity requirements are will go a long way in maintaining safety while working jobs.
Tower cranes are better used for larger projects as they have longer reach, allowing access to higher locations and areas. While mobile cranes have a smaller reach than tower cranes but are more flexible and allow for greater mobility throughout, consider what area you will be working with then go from there. You can even choose different cranes for more specific purposes.
Ensure You Plan Ahead Before Operating Cranes
Adequate planning is vital in any endeavour but even more so for larger-scale construction operations. If you plan ahead and prepare for any hazards before operating your crane you’re going to largely minimise the risk of any accidents or injuries during your projects. This means conducting thorough risk assessments before beginning any work with your cranes.
Most crane operators and project managers start with clear guidelines on operation, which means establishing load limits, how to handle loads and what to do if anything goes wrong. This all needs to be communicated clearly with the team and any stakeholders involved. If we take these proactive steps we’re going to be in a better position to handle any issues that come our way.
Learn About the Regulations Involved with Crane Operation
Depending on where you’re located there are various regulations that you must adhere to from either local governments or road authorities which cover all aspects from operation, to setup and load limits. We would recommend familiarising yourself with these rules so you can be prepared for anything that might come up and so you don’t experience fines from local authorities. Whether you are an operator or supervisor don’t skip this step if you want to ensure your operating with compliance and safety.
Check and Maintain Cranes Regularly Before Use
Maintaining and regularly checking equipment is essential for any vehicle you might be operating and cranes are no exception. If you don’t have a dedicated technician or don’t have the knowledge or experience then taking your crane to a mechanic before operation will ensure that your equipment is ready for use and won’t fail unexpectedly. Because these machines can be put under pressure for so long onsite it can be rather common for them to break down or get worn. This is constant maintenance and adequate checks are critical.
Educate Workers on Safe Operation Procedures
Those working in the construction industry understand the importance of education and training across the board. In any industry that can pose risk or danger, having these kinds of certifications is mandatory and usually come with stringent requirements. If you are managing teams and crane operators make sure they are all educated properly and have the appropriate licences if needed.
Luckily there are many resources and training programs available to help with this either online or in-person for your staff members. Don’t forget to also remind workers of the basic safety protocols and procedures like wearing helmets, being aware of surroundings and wearing appropriate clothing and safety harnesses during operations.
Large-scale construction equipment is no joke and when things go wrong it can bring about thousands of dollars of damage to people and equipment. This is why safety is so paramount in the construction industry and crane safety is no exception. If you’re about to start a crane operation and need some guidance on best practices then ensure you follow this guide so you’re prepared.