Most common crane hazards in workplace
It’s significant you’re aware of the main hazards and how you can avoid them.Working with cranes poses many hazards, and unsafe working practices can result in injuries, fatalities and costly damage to buildings and materials.
Around 50% of accidents involving overhead cranes are a result of a metal part of a crane coming into contact with a power source (i.e a high-voltage power line). There’s a risk of a crane’s hoist line or boom touching energized power lines when moving materials nearby or underneath. While those directly touching the crane are the most likely to be electrocuted, any workers in the vicinity are also at risk. Therefore, one accident can result in multiple deaths and injuries. Around 200 fatalities per year are the result of contact with power lines, so it’s crucial that pre-job planning is carried out prior to starting work.
When working with overhead cranes, falling loads are one of the most common, and most dangerous, hazards. A falling load can result in several injuries, fatalities and significant structural damage to buildings and property. Additionally, it will also lead to significant time and money costs.
Falling loads from an overhead crane could be the result of:
- Operator incompetency. You must ensure your employees are adequately trained so they are able to carry out their roles competently and safely.
- Slipping. If you don’t secure loads properly it can result in slipping material.
- Mechanical failure. The risk of mechanical failure can be reduced if you ensure a competent person carries out routine inspections, maintenance and repairs at suitable intervals.
- Two blocking. Two blocking occurs when an uppermost hoist line component (i.e the load block, hook block, overhaul ball) touches the upper block, boom tip or similar component. When two blocking occurs, increased tension is placed on the line which can result in falling loads or crane components.
The majority of crane structural failures and upsets are the result of somebody overloading a crane. If you exceed a crane’s operational capacity, you are likely to subject it to structural stresses and cause irreversible damage.
You could overload a crane if you:
- Swing or suddenly drop loads.
- Hoist loads beyond the cranes capacity.
- Use defective components.
- Drag loads.
- Side-load a boom.
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