Construction – Cranes #1

Working Around Cranes

Today’s safety topic is about working around cranes. Cranes are found on most construction sites. The general contractor and various subcontractors use them to move materials and equipment. Your employer may have one on your job. There are some very important things that you need to know about cranes to prevent accidents from occurring when you are working near them.

First, stay clear of the swing zone of the crane. The swing zone is located around the crane’s superstructure and includes the operator’s cab, the engine and the counterweight. Most crane operators will mark this area off with a warning line running from the outriggers back to the frame of the crane. Keep out of this area so you don’t get crushed.

Be aware of electrical hazards. Watch out for these during transport, set up and operation of the crane. A crane boom that comes in contact with a power line will provide a direct circuit to ground. If you are ever near a crane that does contact a power line call the correct electric utility immediately. Do not approach the crane; if you get too close, the electricity may arc and electrocute you. Try to keep the operator calm and in the cab until the power is turned off. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and OSHA standards when working around power lines.

When doing maintenance, never reach into boom sections. Do not wear loose fitting clothing when working on the equipment and always have a fire extinguisher handy. Never start or operate any crane until all personnel are clear.

Before making a lift, be sure you have sufficient clearance between the load and the boom, and adequate head room between the load and whatever rigging is required to make the lift. Every crane must be equipped with a load chart which has clearly legible letters and figures. Make sure you read and understand the load chart before making any lift. If you have questions about the chart or the weight that is going to be lifted ask your supervisor. A qualified signal person should be used whenever the load cannot be clearly seen by the operator. Don’t hitch a ride on the chassis of a crane, and never ride on a load.

Mobile Cranes Are Becoming Larger, More Expensive,
And More Sophisticated All the Time.
Keep a Sharp Lookout When Working Around Them.

* Give a Lift to Safety *