Construction workers are often in close proximity to cranes, as these can help successfully and efficiently complete a variety of tasks.
It doesn’t matter if you’re operating a crane or are in close proximity to one of these vehicles, you need to understand what you should and shouldn’t be doing in regard to safety.
There are many potential causes of crane accidents, including but not limited to the following:
- Contact with an energized power line (typically overhead)
- Overturned crane
- Dropped load
- Boom collapse
- Counter weight crushing
- Rigging failures
It’s easy to believe that a crane accident will never happen on your construction site, but it’s this type of thinking that often leads to a bad situation.
As a general rule of thumb, an inspection is an absolute must before use. Furthermore, proper maintenance is an absolute must, as these vehicles have the tendency to wear down over time.
Here are some additional safety tips to help prevent a crane accident:
- Trained professionals are the only ones who should operate a crane
- Inspect the crane and accessories before use
- Cranes should only be used on stable and firm ground
- It’s imperative to watch for overhead power lines, even those that may not be energized
- Review the load chart before using a crane for heavy lifting
- Never move a load over top of workers
- Follow manufacturer instructions when operating a crane
It can be easy to lose sight of these safety tips, so it’s important to implement a system for following them at all times. Even though it means extra time out of your day, it’s better to be safe than sorry as a crane accident has the potential to cause serious injury or death.
What to do after an accident
If you’re part of a crane accident, regardless of the cause, do these things:
- Call for immediate medical assistance
- Report the incident to your company
- Follow the advice of your medical team
- Learn more about your legal rights
For example, if you’re unable to return to work after a crane accident, you may be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.