How to Avoid Crane Accidents
When you lease or rent heavy equipment in Phoenix, you should be well versed in crane safety. Most of the time crane accidents are due to human error and are preventable. Here are ways to make sure that you operate heavy equipment safely when renting or leasing from a Phoenix crane service.
Pay Attention to Basics
Any type of heavy equipment that can potentially cause injury to yourself or others must be approached responsibly. If your only focus is to complete a project by a specific time, you run the risk of overlooking safe operating practices. It's best to use proper set-ups and pre-operational inspections. You should also be aware of how all controls of the machine work.
Professional crane operators gain certification from institutions accredited by ANSI, as recognized by OSHA. Knowledge for acquiring crane operator certification can be found on OSHA's website and through ASME membership. Reading instructions provided by heavy equipment manufacturers and your Phoenix crane service will help you operate a crane as safely as possible.
Understand Physics and Load Charts
Your crane operating skills will be enhanced by knowledge of basic physical science and ability to read load charts. One of the core fundamentals of lifting is balance, which is the science of maintaining center of gravity.
One of the primary reasons that cranes tip over and cause massive destruction is that the operator tried to lift more weight than the crane could handle. According to the Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau, 80% of crane collapses are due to exceeding the crane's operational capacity. Of these accidents, over half are caused by swinging a boom or lifting objects without making sure the outriggers are fully extended.
About 80 individuals are killed each year from improper lift and material handling. While most of these victims are workers, sometimes bystanders can be injured as well. These accidents involve all types of cranes. About 40% of accidents involve victims getting struck by an object such as a hoisted load or a crane component.
As an operator, you must make sure people are not in harm's way and that you are not putting too much pressure on the equipment. You must always be aware of the machine's capacity for lifting and how much you are attempting to lift. Another important factor is knowing the limits to how far a load can swing without causing imbalance.
Avoid Power Lines
Regardless of what your work project involves, you must not allow a crane to come in contact with electrical power lines. Nearly half of all mobile crane accidents are related to operators or assistants getting electrocuted from the boom or other crane parts touching live power lines. Protecting yourself and others from electric shock should be a top priority. Failing to do so can result in not just death or injuries, but also huge litigation in which the rigger, company and property owners can be held responsible.
If your job involves coming near power lines, make sure you identify a safe work zone in which 360 degrees of clearance surrounds the crane. OSHA provides minimum clearance distances, such as 10 feet away from overhead power lines rated up to 50 kv. Higher voltage requires more distance from the power lines.
Renting or leasing from a Phoenix crane service is an option for completing a construction project. Make sure you understand the capabilities and limitations of the equipment. Thoroughly expecting the machine before a job will determine if the machine is suitable for use. Always wear the proper safety gear and be aware of where other individuals are at a work site.
For more information on Crane Services or Heavy Equipment Transport, contact Southwest Industrial Rigging. We have four locations in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff.