Crane Safety FAQs
Find answers to some of the most common safety questions related to cranes.
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 occurred 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 power line, 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:
Initial use inspections
Functional inspections before every shift
Raken’s construction equipment management software can help remind employees of inspection requirements and monitor maintenance needs. They can even take photos of equipment for inspections on a mobile app and send them straight to the office.
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 talk software.