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Overload Protection is Critical For Safety

Overload Protection is Critical For a Safe Work Environment

The pressure on businesses to compete and be more productive can sometimes create unsafe situations. When workers are rushed, they may skip important safety procedures and they may try to stretch the limits of the crane equipment they are using. One of the many areas that must be addressed to maintain safe work environments is protection against overloads.
Overloads are lifts that exceed the crane’s rated capacity. They are a violation of OSHA and ASME B30 regulations and they create very dangerous situations. Overloads can stress and damage equipment, putting your workers in imminent danger. The practice can be especially threatening when working with older cranes, which may not have today’s more modern safety devices to prevent misuse with over capacity lifts. Most newer cranes have devices that help prevent overload-related accidents by helping to ensure that cranes do not lift beyond their rated capacities.

How do these overload protective devices work?

Regardless of type, all overload protective devices work by sensing the force of the load. When the load exceeds a preset percentage of rated capacity (usually 100 to 125 percent), the overload protective device temporarily inhibits the hoist so that the crane can only lower the load.

The four main types of overload protective devices:

  • Mechanical devices that provide overload protection with a mechanical switch that is connected to the hoisting mechanism. For example, if the overload puts extra force on the hoist’s rope anchorage, it causes a spring within the device to collapse, which flips the switch and shuts down the hoist.
  • Electric overhead protection devices sense how much current is being drawn by the motor and shuts everything down when the current draw indicates too much force is being required to lift the load.
  • Electrical/Mechanical devices combine a strongback with a monitoring sensor that adjusts voltage based on the amount of deflection that occurs.
  • Chain hoist overload protection devices operate like a car in neutral. They utilize a slip clutch mechanism. When an overload is detected the slip clutch continues to turn without lifting the load.

Implementing Overload Protective Devices

Properly trained operators who understand the dangers of overloading are really the most effective way to prevent accidents, but protection devices are highly recommended for added security. If your business is operating with older cranes that may not have overload protection built in to them, you should strongly consider a retrofit. Hoosier Crane can help you with these modifications

Know Your Crane

Though overload protection is common in hoists today, many sfaety managers assume their cranes have them when they actually may not. Hoosier Crane service technicians can help you determine whether your crane is equipped with overload protection and recommend the type that's best suited for your crane.

Contact Hoosier Crane today to get more information.