Accidents can happen anytime a crane truck is in use. The most common types of problems that may occur include tipping over, an operator fall, electrocution, and workers being struck by lifted material. Since the tasks that are being performed take place in an environment that is often dangerous, severe injuries and even deadly accidents are possible. Construction site accidents can be prevented, or at the very least minimized, by proper knowledge and awareness.
Staying Crane Truck Safety
Following are some precautionary measures that should be considered while operating a crane truck.
- Training – Drivers must undergo training and be licensed before operating this machine.
- Hazard Inspection – Assess the area for possible hazards, such as the presence of overhead power lines, bystanders, soft ground, parked cars, overhanging tree branches, and moving vehicles.
- Prior Inspection – Always conduct a thorough inspection prior to each day’s activities and report any unusual findings. Inspections must include checking cables and booms for cracks and deformities as well as any problems with pins, bolts, leaks, controls, outriggers, and signal lights.
- Use Outriggers – Properly rig the equipment and fully engage the hydraulic system before beginning any task to avoid tipping over. Observe the outriggers while being lowered; put a board under the outriggers when there are soft ground conditions. Avoid operating the boom when the hydraulic outriggers are not properly engaged in the right position.
- Overhead Clearance – Establish a ten-foot overhead clearance to give an ample amount of safe swinging radius.
- Lifting Limits – Avoid going beyond the lifting capacity of the crane and always check the load chart for this aspect.
- Precise Movements – Hoisting and moving the boom must be done in a smooth and precise manner rather than any rapid, jarring movements.
- Wear PPE – Always wear personal protective equipment and seat belts or shoulder harnesses.
- Secure Area – Always secure the work area with traffic cones and caution tape to temporarily redirect moving cars and pedestrians.
- Level Surface – Position the equipment on a solid and even surface.
- Follow Manual – The manufacturer’s manual should always be referred to and close attention paid to the precautionary measures printed in the guide.
- Operational Knowledge – All drivers should be familiar with inspections, system assessments, operating and control techniques, operating parameters, height and distance judgment, hand signals, slinging principles, and the operation as a whole.
Crane truck safety is an essential component in the construction industry. To maintain productivity, employees must be alert, meticulous, and vigilant while observing safety standards when using a crane truck. It is important to remember that any lapse in the proper operation of these vehicles could result in tragic and deadly accidents. Such undesirable events are preventable provided both employer and workers are aware of the correct practices and proper ways to safely use crane trucks. In addition, accurate training, wearing of protective equipment, being cautious, and placing importance on a user manual can prevent accidents from happening. Indeed, these are important ways to be safe while using a crane truck!