Cranes are a valuable items of equipment on many construction projects. They are used to lift heavy material and equipment. Offloading items from delivery trucks, then placing them in position, sometimes up on towering buildings. Cranes allow for prefabricated and modular sections to be positioned in place - often speeding up construction. Many projects would not be possible without using cranes, or would certainly require lots more effort and time to complete.
Unfortunately there are many accidents each year involving cranes. Most of these could be avoided if those using the cranes took better care. Below are a few pertinent and important points to consider when employing cranes on your construction project.
There is other lifting equipment such as forklifts, telehandlers, etc, which are also commonly used to lift and transport material around construction projects. These can also prove deadly when they over topple, or when loads are not properly secured.
Crane accidents result in:
Safety tips for cranes
The incorrect use of cranes and lifting equipment is often the cause of serious accidents. Lifting equipment must always have the outriggers fully deployed and the outriggers must be on firm ground and not near the edges of excavations. The outriggers should be on sturdy boards or beams to distribute the load. Cranes should never lift loads that are heavier, or at a greater reach, than their rated capacity. Always know the weight of heavy loads and ensure these are within the capabilities of the crane. The crane operator should not be overruled or forced to lift a load that they’re uncomfortable of lifting (if in doubt check with an expert). Cranes should never be used in gusty or windy conditions, nor should they be deployed when there’s lightning. Loads should never be lifted over people. Many a time loads have broken free and come crashing down to the ground. Anyone below could be fatally injured if this happens.
(Read crane company charged over crane collapse)
Always take extreme care when cranes are working in close proximity to structures or other cranes.
(Read: Buildings evacuated as crane smashes into office tower)
Cranes should never work near overhead live electrical cables. Coming in contact, or indeed even within a couple of metres, of live high voltage cables could result in a fatal accident, damage to the crane and a power outage.
(Read fatal accident when crane touches powerlines)
Items being lifted by the crane must always be properly secured. Loads should be balanced so they can’t topple over. Large loads and loads being manoeuvred in tight spaces should have tag lines attached so they can be safely guided into position by workers, who should never stand directly under the load. Workers holding tag lines must take care that swinging loads don’t pull them off buildings or into excavations.
(Read: 6 workers injured when crane drops reinforcing bars
and Death under load of scaffold)
Failure of a sling will result in the load being dropped, where it could cause serious damage to equipment and structures below and fatally injure people. (Read Pressure washer plunges 29 floors) In addition the loss of a heavy load has often resulted in the crane boom swinging back so rapidly that it’s caused the boom to break and even the crane to topple over.
Slings must always be properly secured to the crane hook and to the load in such a manner that they can’t accidently come loose. Crane hooks should be checked for cracks and deformation. Hooks have opened while lifting heavy loads, resulting in the load falling to the ground. Hooks should have working safety catches which prevent the lifting slings from accidently falling off.
Slings (chains, straps and cables) are of different load ratings. Always ensure that slings are rated for the weight being lifted. Slings must be checked regularly for wear, damage and deformities. Damaged slings must be clearly marked as nonconforming and removed from the project site so they aren’t accidently used. Multi-leg slings must be fixed in such a way that the legs are as close to vertical as possible, and not at an angle greater than 30 degrees from the vertical – the more horizontal the leg the greater the stress created in the sling, which could mean that the stress exceeds what the sling can carry, causing it to break.
Slings must always be stored where they won’t be damaged by other equipment and where they won’t become muddy and dirty.
Working with cranes
Cranes are an indispensable part of many construction projects.
Cranes are expensive to hire so they should be effectively utilized to minimize time and cost.
Regrettably, there are many crane accidents each year, which cause, injury, loss of life, and damage to structures and other equipment. With proper care cranes are valuable tools which can be safely used.
#constructionmanagement #constructionprojectmanagement #constructionequipment
Other useful articles
Become Great at Hiring Equipment for Your Construction Project
The Alarming Truth about Using Old Construction Equipment
Construction Equipment Productivity
This article is an extract from the book 'The Successful Construction Supervisor and Foreman'.
© 2021 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
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17/12/2021 09:45:38 am
Selection of a specific sling-type is one of the most important decisions that you need to make at the first stage. Consider the nature of the load, how it needs to be rigged, and the ambient temperatures.
28/12/2021 12:42:49 pm
Thank you for explaining that outriggers must be fully deployed on firm ground before lifting equipment using cranes to avoid accidents. I will make sure to remember your tips so I can share them with our crane operator. We should look for a crane equipment provider in our area that is also aware of the safety tips for cranes.
5/1/2022 04:24:39 pm
Thanks for pointing out that cranes should never work near overhead live electrical cables. I would imagine that any facility would need support in lifting heavy objects. I think they should look for a reliable company that can provide quality cranes at an affordable rate.
29/6/2022 04:01:59 pm
I have been watching a couple of construction-related documentaries recently and I got curious over the equipment that they use. It's amazing how a crane can easily lift and move different types of heavy cargo by the use of slings. I think huge construction projects should consider investing in this type of equipment along with its maintenance.
14/7/2022 03:25:07 pm
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21/7/2022 01:23:25 pm
I found it interesting when you said that for many construction works, the cranes are the essential part. My cousin told me last night that he and his business partner were planning to find a height safety chain that they would use for their lifting works, and he asked if I had any idea what would be the best option to consider. I appreciate your informative article, I'll tell him that it will be much better if he consults a height safety products company as they can provide more information about their products.
Thanks for pointing out that the crane services should be utilized well and minimize the time it is used because they can be expensive. I guess this information would be helpful for my uncle, because he might need one next year. It's for the five-story house that he wanted to have for his family which he mentioned when we had a reunion this month.
15/11/2022 05:54:12 am
You made an interesting point when you explained that cranes are an indispensable part of construction projects. With that in mind, it seems like it would be important to make sure that you have workers that know how to properly use cranes. It could be a good idea to ask the company you are renting a crane from if they have workers that will be running the machine for you.
17/11/2022 03:22:42 pm
I totally agree when you said that the slings of the cranes should be secure to ensure that they don't accidentally come loose. I can imagine how dangerous that would be, so the tower crane rental services you are hiring should also have professionals you can trust. It would be a good practice to ask for their licenses before hiring them as well as asking for their years in the industry.
10/1/2023 01:25:42 am
Thanks so much for warning about the dangers of operating a crane as well as listing some good things. My uncle is working on a big project in his yard and he needs a crane to lift some really heavy things. We'll have to be sure to get the exact measurements of everything so we know which crane to rent so we can ensure safety, when we find a place he can rent a reliable machine for a day or two.
28/2/2023 02:29:40 pm
I appreciate that you explained that an appropriate level of width and height of the property project could help implement safety while using cranes. A couple of days ago, my best friend mentioned he and his business companions were planning to have a consultation for a crane hire to lower the consumption time for their commercial property project. I'll tell him they may contact reputable crane services that can answer all of his situations. I'm thankful for this enlightening article.
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Copyright 2016 - The attached articles cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without the consent of the author.
The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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