Mobile cranes are a critical part of most building construction projects, but like any other piece of industrial equipment, it is vital that any construction firm that operates a crane hire does so as safely as possible, which involves both the machine itself and also the surrounding site.
Crane safety is covered by the Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, which stipulates that all work using lifting equipment, such as cranes, hoists and gin wheel pulley systems, must be properly planned, supervised and carried out safely.
Here are five important steps to take whilst operating a mobile crane.
Make A Plan
Write out a detailed plan for the lifting operations that will allow you to undertake the work safely, and ensure that everyone involved with the operation reads and understands it.
Parts that should be included in your plan include:
- The criteria behind your selection of a suitable crane, as well as set up and examination provisions,
- Site preparation,
- Safe slinging and signalling arrangements,
- Details of the trained staff operating the crane, and others involved in the operation,
- Supervision details and the authority of the person supervising,
- Any other relevant examinations, reports and documentation,
- Measures to prevent unauthorised use or movement of the crane,
- Safety measures for everyone else on-site not involved in lifting.
Record this information in a place and a way everyone can refer to.
Check The Equipment
Make sure you complete a full inspection of the crane before you start work, checking for any structural, hydraulic, electrical or mechanical issues, as well as checking fuel and fluid levels to ensure the machine will work optimally during the entire length of the operation.
Check the load charts as well, and make sure you and any other operator fully understand what they mean before starting.
Check Above And Below The Crane
Make sure the crane has been set up on stable, secure ground, with no chance of the crane slipping or moving. Ensure that the area you have set up is free of traffic and pedestrians, blocked off for as long as is necessary to do the work.
As well as this look for overhanging hazards like wires, tree branches and other potential dangers.
Check Your Personnel
Make sure that your crane operators are accredited and certified and ensure that only qualified personnel are in the crane cab during its operation.
As well as this, ensure that everyone else on site is aware of the procedures involved with working with a crane and do not put themselves or others in unnecessary danger.
Stop Whenever Something Feels Wrong
If at any point during the lift something feels wrong, stop as safely as possible and reconsider how to accomplish the task.
With lifting equipment, safety comes above everything else, and if a lift at any point does not feel safe, it is a warning sign that there may be a safer way to handle the task.
As well as this, ever override the computer system. It is aware of the maximum loads and tolerances of the crane and overriding it could place the site in danger.