Quick Tips for Safe Crane Operations at the Job Site

Quick Tips for Safe Crane Operations at the Job Site

All heavy equipment at a construction site poses serious risks to the people using it and working around it. Between hoisting, moving, and suspending loads, there are lots of major dangers associated with crane use. Just a few of the potentially devastating ones include falling materials, swinging a load into someone or something, and tipping the equipment over.

Many of the most important tips for safe crane operations are common sense, and they should all be drilled into everyone who works on the job site. Still, it’s smart to occasionally remind yourself about the best practices for working in and around cranes, or to remind your crew if you’re a manager or supervisor.

So, read over these tips for safe crane operations, keep them in mind when applicable, and send the link to this page to your friends, co-workers, or employees who work on construction sites with cranes.

Crane Safety Tips

  • Make sure all crane operators are fully trained and acquainted with the operations manual
  • Keep the crane manual in the machine for easy reference
  • Never use a crane with possible damage or other safety concerns
  • Check the hoist and the hook closely
  • Inspect the load chain for twists or damage, or the wire rope for fraying, kinks, or other damage
  • Look to see that the wire rope hasn’t come out of the drum grooves
  • Refer to the crane’s load chart to determine the maximum weight for tires or outrigger and other relevant factors
  • Never exceed the maximum hoist rating
  • Only use a crane on a secure surface
  • There must be reliable, constant communication between crane operators and the ground crew
  • Crane operators need to always remain attentive, alert, and aware of their surroundings
  • Whenever possible, keep the swing radius clear of power lines and other potential hazards; when not possible, be sure the crane operator is aware of the obstacles and the plan for avoiding them
  • Remain aware of crane operations when working around one
  • Make sure the load chain or wire is taut—not slack—before running the hook
  • Also ensure the load chain or wire is running straight from hoist to hook
  • Carefully balance every load and use a sling of proper size
  • Never use a load chain or wire rope as a sling
  • Confirm that the load is completely secure before lifting
  • Don’t allow the wire rope or chain to lean against or move across a sharp surface
  • Never leave a suspended load unattended
  • Never hoist, move, or suspend a load over people; never go or remain beneath a load being lifted, moved, or suspended
  • Stay clear of the crane’s swing radius
  • It shouldn’t have to be said, but… cranes are not for lifting people
  • Cranes are also not for side loading or dragging materials across the ground; they’re for vertical lifting
  • Have a lockout/tagout procedure in place
  • Follow the crane’s manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule

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