2 Safety Hazards Associated With Crane Operation

Posted on: 26 January 2016

The use of a crane at a construction site is not unusual. The large piece of industrial equipment often makes hoisting and transporting simpler and safer. However, accidents involving a crane can be quite serious, resulting in significant injuries or even death. 

Crane operation can entail multiple hazards that can be avoided if appropriate safety measures are observed. Here are a few of the hazards that may be encountered during the operation of a crane:

Power Lines

A crane may come in contact with an electrical power line at a construction site. Contact with a high-voltage power line may result in electrocution of the crane operator. However, other workers may also be harmed if the power line falls or if the crane operator loses control of the crane.

According to statistics from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), the construction industry experiences the greatest number of electricity-related fatalities. For the studied period, most of the deaths resulted from contact with an overhead power line. 

Here are a few precautions that should be taken when a crane is operated in the vicinity of a power line:

  • Crane operators should be informed of the location of nearby electrical hazards before entering the crane. 
  • The perimeter around a power line or other electrical source should be marked or blocked to inform workers of an unsafe zone.
  • Cranes should be operated at a reduced speed near power lines.
  • All power lines should be treated as though a live current is flowing them; they should never be assumed dead.
  • No tools used in the vicinity of a power line should be made of material that readily conducts electricity.

Falling Objects

Objects that fall from a high elevation can be dangerous for workers below. However, falling objects are often associated with load weights that exceed a crane's safe operating capacity. In addition, they may result from poorly secured equipment or an unsecured load.

To avoid injuries from falling object, the following safety recommendations should be observed:

  • All construction workers near a crane should wear appropriate safety protection, such as hard hats, steel-toed shoes and goggles.
  • No crane loads should be permitted to remain in the air when the machine is not being operated.
  • The crane should be fully inspected each day before being used.

If you have construction needs that will require the use of a crane, consult with a company like Cook Crane Corp to review the standardized safety precautions that will be observed during the project.

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