As per the US Labor Bureau Statistics, around 44 people die in crane accidents annually. Even though fatalities have decreased in the last 3 decades due to the implementation of The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Still, they can occur and result in serious injuries or deaths. Thus, in order to prevent or reduce such mishaps you must provide safety training to your construction workers.
Different types of crane accidents can occur on work sites if safety isn’t ensured. This article will cover common types of crane accidents and how you can prevent them.
Struck By an Object or The Equipment
Around 70% of serious injuries take place when a worker is struck by the crane boom, load, or jib. This type of accident can occur if there aren’t proper measures to keep construction staff out of the lift zone. You can prevent this accident by checking your used cranes for sale before the start of operation. Moreover, you must use designated routes, follow signals, and pay attention to horns or alarms to ensure safety. However, if you aren’t using cranes, still it’s crucial to follow safety measures. Always walk on pathways, avoid walking near heavy machinery, and never stand at places where your shadow can’t be visible. You can significantly reduce the number of crane-related accidents by ensuring these safety measures.
Falling From Crane During Operation
The second most occurring accident type is the operator falling from the crane while performing any heavy-duty operation. Workers can fall from a hoister crane while carrying out maintenance or from an overhead crane while unloading material. Thus, it’s necessary to use a harness and lanyard that can avoid serious injury if a worker falls from an overhead crane. Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is also essential to ensure the safety of the workforce. Also, every operator must maintain three points of contact with the cab when climbing up or down.
Tipping Over Due to A Heavy Load
Cranes have built-in safety measures for ensuring stability during work. Still, they can tip over due to overload conditions or using outriggers incorrectly. Bad weather or uneven terrain can also result in this type of accident. To avoid tipping over, you must follow the load chart for the weight capacity the crane can handle safely. Moreover, the operator must ensure his heavy machinery is working well before he starts his work. However, if you are working in windy conditions, always look for the load it can handle safely at maximum wind speed and follow the original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM’s) recommendations. Also, consider the surface you’re working on, and ensure your crane has enough stability to lift loads safely on rough terrains avoiding tipping over.
- Electrical Hazards
Electrical systems failure can cause serious injuries or even fatalities. Thus, it’s mandatory to wear PPEs and follow OSHA guidelines when working near overhead power lines. A crane operator can get electrocuted if his heavy machinery or its load comes in contact with electric power lines. Therefore, it’s essential to follow safety measures while operating cranes. The site in charge must ensure that overhead power lines near your heavy equipment operating site are de-energized to eliminate the risk of electric injuries. Moreover, you can prevent physical contact with electric lines by maintaining clearance between your heavy equipment and power lines.
- Structural Failure
Structural failure can happen when your crane collapses or any of its components fail. This heavy machinery can collapse when structural components are put under extreme pressure. Likewise load tip-overs, this equipment failure can occur when the load limit is exceeded. In order to prevent this type of accident, you must follow the load capacity limits written in the OEM’s manual. Moreover, it’s crucial that you carry out regular inspections and routine maintenance of your crane to keep it in safe and good working condition.
Crane accidents occur due to slight negligence by the construction workers while working or walking around on the work site. Thus, it’s essential to wear PPEs and follow OSHA guidelines to ensure safer and injury-free heavy equipment operation. Also, you must provide safety training to your construction staff to minimize crane accidents.