Lots of construction site use overhead cranes to make the work of their operatives more efficient. And for good reason as well, since these cranes can lift heavy loads to great heights, something that would be impossible to do with human strength alone. Indeed, if something were to be done manually, it would take numerous employees and a whole lot of time, and there would always be the risk of workplace injuries. Unfortunately, even with an overhead crane, the chance of workplace injuries is never completely removed.
Any heavy machine has the potential to be dangerous, even deadly, if it isn’t used as described. This is why stringent safety regulations, policies, and procedures must be in place. All employees must confirm they have seen and read these, and they must take responsibility for adhering to them as well. Without that, the workplace would be completely unsafe for everyone involved.
Safety Procedures for Overhead Cranes
With overhead cranes, there are a number of things that should be done to ensure they are completely safe. Those include:
- Making sure the parts of cranes are check each time before they get used. Make sure random inspections are conducted regularly, something that should be done for any type of machinery present on the construction site. Should even the smallest part of the crane not be in an acceptable condition, you should stop usage of it immediately and have an expert check it out.
- Anyone using the crane should be fully aware of the machine’s maximum load capacity. A crane should never carry more than this capacity, as this would make it unsafe. It could mean cables snap, the crane could fall over, and so on. Essentially, the crane cannot operate unless it is loaded to maximum capacity.
- Always double check everything. Before anyone operates an overhead crane, the loads should be checked and double checked, not just for weigh but also for how they are set.
- Operatives should never work alone. They should have someone with them to not just assist in the operation, but to also double check what is being done. Furthermore, they should be trained on giving signals so that the actual operative can move the crane properly. At the same time, however, operatives should not work with more than one signaler, since this could make things too complicated.
- Everyone should be alert at all times. This includes the operator, the signaler, and anyone else working in the vicinity of the overhead crane. In fact, anyone who operates in the vicinity should be aware of the safety procedures associated with the cranes, and they should be able to understand signals indicating danger or immediate evacuation.
At all times, everybody has to remain safe. Accidents on construction sites tend to be bad ones, but they can be avoided by having proper policies and procedures in place, and making sure all workers have been properly trained. That, in turn, is the role of management who have to shoulder the responsibility of looking after their teams.