Crane Inspection Checklist

Crane erection and operation are dangerous tasks that can have severe consequences to those performing the tasks. Use this checklist to mitigate risk while operating a crane.

Question Response Type
1. Please indicate the area of work. Text Answer
2. Is the airspace above the crane pick zone clear of any overhead obstructions? Yes No N/A
3. If no, what measures are being taken to ensure that the crane can maintain a safe clearance from obstructions? Text Answer
4. Will any material or equipment loads cross over occupied space, paths of travel or restricted areas? Yes No N/A
5. If so, what measures are being taken to ensure the safety of those located within the occupied space or path of travel? Text Answer
6. Is the ground surface rated and able to withstand the crane reaction forces? Yes No N/A
7. Have all personnel involved with crane operations had their certifications checked? (ie operators, riggers, signal men, etc.) Yes No N/A
8. Has all rigging equipment been inspected to ensure they are in good working condition? (ie no visible damage, exposed red fibers, cuts, burns, etc.) Yes No N/A

What is a crane?

A crane is a large piece of construction equipment that is used to pick up and move heavy loads. The main part of the crane is the “boom”—an arm that extends from the crane and sustains the majority of the load’s weight. Cranes can be either static or mobile, and have varying weight limits.

Who can operate a crane?

Cranes can only be operated by certified personnel. The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is an accredited organization that provides training and certification for crane operators.

Why is crane safety important?

220 crane-related deaths occured between 2011 and 2015, according to the Census for Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). This averages to about 44 deaths per year.

Because cranes are such large pieces of equipment, they are major risk factors on construction jobsites. And there are a lot of ways a crane can cause a project to quickly go south—whether a crane is overloaded, touches a powerline, or experiences equipment failure. Prioritizing crane safety means making sure all hazards are accounted for—so that no one is put at risk when a crane is in operation.

What are hazards in a crane area?

When working with cranes, some primary hazards include:

  • Construction workers in the crane work area, which can cause a struck-by or a caught-in/between hazard
  • Electrical lines above work area, which can cause electrocution
  • Workers not following safety protocol when working from high areas, which can cause falls
  • Overloading cranes, which can result in falling materials
  • What types of inspections do cranes need?

    OSHA requires a variety of crane inspections, including:

  • Yearly inspections
  • Monthly inspections
  • Initial use inspections
  • Functional inspections before every shift
  • How do you ensure crane safety?

    Crane safety begins with regularly educating everyone on the construction site of safety protocols. Regularly reminding workers of safety rules means workers are less likely to forget or become slack about safety protocol.

    Using this crane safety inspection checklist also ensures that nothing is forgotten when it comes time to operate a crane. And, if an accident does occur, it means you have documentation that your team did their part to prioritize safety.

    Why is work-area control an important part of crane safety?

    Even if you follow through with all of OSHA’s crane inspection requirements, there are still many risks that can cause accidents while a crane is in use.

    Each construction jobsite is unique. With different hazards, construction workers, and project goals, it’s vital to complete a work-area safety checklist. These safety checklists should be completed before every shift to ensure any changes—like extreme weather—are taken into consideration.

    What are the three major causes of crane accidents?

    Some of the primary causes of crane accidents involve:

  • Contact with an electrical hazard
  • Overloading the crane
  • Materials falling from overhead hoists
  • What other resources can improve safety when operating a crane or other equipment?

    Educating construction workers on safety measures is the best way to prevent crane accidents. Regularly having toolbox talks about crane safety is incredibly beneficial to jobsite safety.

    Looking to bulk schedule toolbox talks, so you can set it and forget it—and still experience the benefits of workers educated in safety? Check out Raken’s Toolbox Talks feature.

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