Working on a crane carries some inherent danger simply because of the heights to which they take their operators. Further, cranes are often used to lift very heavy loads like beams that need to remain secure until they reach their destination. However, when workers are properly trained and the equipment is well-maintained and used appropriately, many of these dangers can be mitigated.
In Pennsylvania, the State Board of Crane Operators regulates the licensing, registration and practice of crane operators to help ensure safety. Crane operators need to have classroom as well as real-world training to operate this vital type of equipment.
Cranes are required to have a variety of safety features established by the Crane Manufacturer’s Association of America (CMAA). These include emergency disconnects and safety latches on hoists, boom angle indicators and hooks. These and other parts of the crane need to be inspected before each use.
Cranes have load ratings that indicate how much weight they are allowed to lift with and without a person. For example, a cable must be able to lift seven times the load it’s actually lifting if a person is on board. Crane operators need to know the equipment’s load rating and actually weigh the load — not estimate the weight. They also need to make sure that it’s properly balanced.
At all times while the crane is in operation, the operators should be in contact with personnel on the ground at the site who can keep workers or passers-by out of danger. Of course, parking the crane safely is also key to preventing injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured (or worse) in a crane accident, it’s essential to make sure you get the compensation you need and deserve.