How to Work Safely on an Overhead Crane
The modern construction industry requires overhead cranes in order to build the skyscrapers we have become so used to. Because of this, finding overhead cranes for sale is now easier than ever. However, as common and as useful as they are, they are also incredibly dangerous and should only be used by those with the proper training and skills. Without that, they endanger not just their own life, but also that of others.
To ensure safety standards are met, OSHA has put in place a number of regulations for its operation. These laws include:
- That both the crane operator and crane owner understand the operating instructions.
- That crane operates meet the mandated eyesight on their driver’s license.
- That operators have full use of their hands and feet.
- That operators are tall enough to work with a crane.
- That operators have proper feet, hand, and eye coordination.
- That operators do not suffer from medical disorders that can lead to loss of consciousness or convulsions.
Since July 2010, more restrictive laws are implemented by OSHA, which include:
- That crane operators have to be NCCCO (National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators) accredited.
- That crane operators perform a hazard and risk assessment every day.
- That equipment s always safely assembled by a qualified individual.
- That crane equipment must be inspected every year.
- That, after installation and before each shift, the crane is visually inspected.
Besides focusing on operators and maintenance and inspection, the cranes themselves have to meet certain standards as well, including:
- That they emit audible warning signs.
- That all employees are aware of the warning sounds.
- That the crane never exceeds its load capacity.
- That no lifts should be made if there are technical or other problems that prevent rigging the load properly.
- That no obstacles are in the way of the crane.
- That the crane has very clearly marked controls that operators are fully aware of.
Further OSHA rules delve into what should happen if something does go wrong. This includes:
- All operators knowing about the evacuation procedures.
- Having policies and procedures in place for mechanical or electrical failures.
- All operators knowing how to handle a power failure.
- All operators wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, and removing any jewelry.
- All operators being aware of the lockout procedures so the crane does not move or start accidentally.
A lot of this is common sense. For instance, a crane that is not used should be properly parked, and nobody should ride on the crane’s pully or hoist. Simply put, everyone who works on an construction site with or around overhead cranes have to be knowledgeable about the labels, signs, rules, and regulations. This requires training, and workers should be tested on their understanding of what they have learned. If they pass those tests, they should receive a permit, which they must carry on their person at all times, as safety inspectors may need to see it on site, at which point it must be produced immediately.