Crane Accidents

Common Causes of Crane Accidents and How to Prevent Them

Industries such as oil and gas exploration, manufacturing, and construction rely heavily on cranes for their operations. However, operating a crane is not that simple, and one misstep can lead to a significant accident.

What are the common causes of crane accidents?

While equipment failure does happen, most crane accidents are still due to human error, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These human errors include:

  • Accidental contact with live power lines
  • Overturned equipment
  • Incorrect load handling and disregard of load limits
  • Non-compliance with inspection policies
  • Failure to wear protective gear while on site
  • Miscommunication between the crane operator and other team members

On-site safety should always be a top priority.

Preventing crane accidents

Teams can prevent crane accidents by observing these steps:

  • This step might be fundamental, but it still has to be said: always use the right crane for the task.
  • Check the route to a worksite before operations. Note the obstacles present and maintain the recommended minimum clearance from power lines and other power sources. De-energize all power lines within proximity of the worksite if possible.
  • Never exceed maximum load capacity for a specific lift configuration. Center all loads and fasten slings to keep the load secure.
  • To ensure the crane’s stability, check ground conditions at the job site, especially if the ground is freezing or thawing.
  • Put operations on hold should there be inclement weather. Team members must follow proper crane assembly and dismantling procedures at all times.
  • Conduct equipment inspections daily–before each shift–and brief all team members on their responsibilities for the day.
  • Schedule a daily safety meeting; the plan could include the identification and assessment of potential hazards. Get everyone on the same page when it comes to following safety protocols.
  • Cordon off the work site so you can lift loads safely without endangering bystanders.
  • Make sure your crane operators are trained and licensed as needed.
  • Schedule regular overhead crane service. The service will ensure the crane’s reliability and optimum performance.

While operational scenarios can vary each day, knowing the fundamentals of crane operations and safety are essential – this could help save lives.

Covering the southeastern United States, Integrity Crane and Hoist, LLC (ICH) is committed to overhead crane service excellence and workplace safety, striving for zero incidents at all times. Call (615) 302-3431 for more information.


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