Safety is an important part of any construction or industrial operation. Accidents do happen whether they are avoidable or not but it is imperative through the use of well-drawn out Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA) that they are prevented as much as possible. When a crane is installed and used with the correct carefulness then operations can occur with close to no risk but when accidents do happen, due to the size of cranes, serious injuries do occur. Accidents still happen even in heavily regulated areas such as New York.
There are many different reasons as to why cranes can fail. The majority of incidents are caused by failures in tower and mobile cranes. However, accidents can occur with small cranes that can be just as deadly. The three main hazards that crane operators face are; electrical, overloading, and materials falling off the hoists. The common ground between all three hazards is the operator of the crane. It is both the crane owner’s and the job supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that the operator of the crane is fully qualified and has a strong track record. A good crane operator knows when the action she/he is about to carry out could be dangerous and take action upon their beliefs.
The most common hazard is electrical failure. At least 50% of all crane accidents are related to the crane colliding with electrical power sources according to a survey carried out by OSHA. This sort of incident most commonly occurs when materials are being moved by the crane within a close proximity to electrical cables. Whilst it is usually the person touching the crane that is injured by this sort of accident it is important to note that all personnel with-in the vicinity are also at risk.
The main cause of power line related incidents is inadequate planning. Planning prevents poor performance. There are strict regulations on what are safe or unsafe workplaces and it is important to plan around any areas that have the potential for disaster. Good communication and safety briefings should make the crane operators aware of the danger zones near to their workplaces.
There are many companies from whom cranes can be hired. When it comes to deciding which crane operator to choose it is important to heavily take into account the company with a good safety record. Companies that have strict regulations on safety often have the least accidents. It is important because both the company that rents out the crane and the company utilizing the crane should work together to avoid any safety issues. Crane renters that have strict protocols associated with the use of their equipment often get their crane back in one piece.
Safe practice with the use of cranes is essential. Cranes are a big piece of equipment so any accident can have a devastating effect. It is important to have proper planning when deciding what to use a crane for on your construction site. It is also extremely important to hire an operator with the required qualifications and experience. The majority of accidents can be avoided and fatalities and serious injuries can be prevented as long as companies take the time to implement safe practice.