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How Crane Safety Can Prevent Accidents

Aug 10, 2022

Crane work raises the potential for any construction site to be bigger and more efficient. But with the tremendous capabilities of a crane come tremendous risks as well with the massive objects that cranes can move plus the size of the crane itself. Thus, safety around cranes is absolutely essential to prevent any catastrophic accidents that can cause serious injuries and death. In other blogs, we have discussed crane safety before, including how to construct an area safe for crane operations as well as how to operate in said area. Here, we will discuss common crane accidents, the dangers that arise from those accidents, and how to prevent these accidents from happening to you. Remember throughout that proper preparation and common sense go a long way towards a safe crane operation.

Table of Contents

1. Common Crane Accidents and Injuries
2. How Crane Safety Prevents These Accidents
3. Contact the Crane Experts at Wilko Industrial

Common Crane Accidents and Injuries

A lot can go wrong with a crane if proper preparations are overlooked. Let’s look at some of the most common instances where crane accidents occur:

Collapse due to improper crane construction:

Every crane comes with manufacturer’s specifications for how to build and tear down that specific crane. These processes are complex and must be followed precisely alongside testing done by operators before and after crane usage. A mistake like improper blocking when setting up the boom can cause a crane to collapse once a lift is started. The operator and any workers below the crane are in extreme danger should the crane collapse from above.

Tipping over:

Naturally, operators must ensure that any load being lifted is within the weight specifications for the crane to prevent the equipment from tipping. But beyond just the weight, the crane absolutely must be operating on a stable foundation. Uneven ground can cause an otherwise functioning crane to tip over and crash down causing untold damage to the operator and any workers unlucky enough to be in the way.

Crane boom collapse:

When operating a crane, extending the boom of the crane beyond the recommended length for a given load can cause the arm to snap, which will go crashing down on workers below. Responsibility falls on the crane operator to be prepared and conscious of these weight recommendations per the crane manufacturers.

Contact with power lines:

Cranes often work around power lines; having the crane avoid power lines is absolutely essential for crane safety. Engaging the power lines can cause a tremendous amount of electricity to hit the operator, placing their life in danger, while potentially starting a fire. Operators and workers on the ground must be extremely vigilant to ensure that the crane is safe from any power lines.

Dropped loads:

Dropped loads are a scary reality of crane work. A crane otherwise properly set up can still experience a dropped load that can cause a lot of damage to workers below as well as great financial damages. Dropped loads can occur from improper rigging of the load or miscalculations regarding the center of gravity of the load. Both of these will result in a load carrying tremendous weight that is uncontrolled and falling from great heights. Again, preparation is key.

How Crane Safety Prevents These Accidents

Every crane accident is serious. There is simply too much weight and too great of a potential for people to get seriously hurt, if not lose their life. Luckily, there is a common theme throughout these crane accidents that can help prevent the catastrophic: preparation. Preparation includes proper training for operators and workers alike; anyone on a crane work site must be properly trained and properly equipped with protective equipment. 

Knowledgeable Crane Operators, in particular, should be well-trained and equipped with the skills plus knowledge required to perform the job. From there, if implemented protocols are followed for both before and after crane operations, the likelihood of a crane accident is significantly reduced. Operators and workers alike must not cut corners anywhere and be very diligent with their calculations before performing a lift. If due diligence is done by everyone involved, from the construction of the crane, the load calculations, the physical loading of an object, and to the deconstruction of the crane, most accidents can be prevented. These are the risks of crane usage, but the potential of what can be built using a crane make them an essential piece of equipment in many large scale construction operations.

Contact the Crane Experts at Wilko Industrial

With so much potential risk involved while utilizing a crane, why take any risks? Contact the Texas Crane Experts at Wilko Industrial to get your job done in a safe and effective manner. With over 60 years of combined experience and 24-hour service, Wilko Industrial is an obvious choice for a safe, successful crane operation.