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Crane Safety: 3 Fatal Mistakes to Avoid During Overhead Crane Rigging

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Overhead cranes allow for a faster, more efficient and cost-effective operation when moving bulky items from one location to another. However, the nature of these operations presents various hazards that can prove fatal to workers on the site. Every year, there are around 240 injury claims resulting from crane accidents in Australia. Before executing rigging jobs, note the following mistakes and hazards, and take proper measures to mitigate them.

Overloading the overhead crane

Cranes come in different rigging capacities. When you hire one, it's possible to assume that the equipment can handle any load size. However, this isn't the case. Both the machinery and the rigging equipment have a load capacity. Exceeding this capacity can lead to failure, which increases the risk of accidents on the site.

Overloading doesn't only happen in the form of rigging beyond the crane's capacity. An overhead crane is designed to move loads above the ground. During the process, one may accidentally cause the load to swing violently. This movement can put pressure on the rigging equipment and cause it to fail. Ensure that riggers are aware of the maximum rigging capacity of the crane. They should also apply proper loading techniques to avoid swinging.

Improper rigging 

Improper rigging can cause loads to fall on property and workers on the site. Such accidents not only cause property damage, but they can also lead to deaths and severe injuries. Improper rigging may occur in the following ways.

  • Failure to secure loads properly before a rig
  • Failure to time rigs properly, especially in a busy site
  • Rigger incompetence when operating an overhead crane

It's paramount for riggers to time rigs properly to reduce the risk of injuries on the site. For example, schedule overhead rigging when there is no foot traffic below the work area. Also, to avoid accidents resulting from poor judgement and incompetence, only work with an experienced rigging contractor for your project.

Lack of overhead crane inspection

One of the most crucial safety procedures to undertake before operating an overhead crane is inspecting it. Cranes have mechanical parts that can fail mid-rig and cause havoc on your site. Ties can snap mid-operation, and controls can fail to work once the crane is in motion. You can only avoid these risks by inspecting the equipment. Schedule inspections as follows:

  • Every day before the commencement of any rigging jobs
  • Before the start of every shift and when there's a change in rigging crew
  • Periodic inspection of the crane by certified inspectors

Create a checklist for daily, pre-shift and periodic crane inspections. If the equipment isn't in good condition, tag it to avoid accidental use.

By avoiding these rigging mistakes, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries on your job site. Talk to a professional crane rigger to get more tips.