Research suggest one out of every four crane operators does not know how to lift a load properly. That lack of understanding and or training can result in accidents that can injure the operators and others. There are some basic procedures that all operators should follow to keep themselves and others safe when lifting materials.
1) The first thing every operator should do is make some basic checks at the beginning of every shift( OSHA requires this)
Check wire ropes for damage. They should function correctly and should swing in the correct directions.
Test the upper limit switch to make sure it is working. This safety device is designed to prevent the bottom block from contacting the upper structure. If the switch isn't working correctly, the bottom block could damage the hoist and cause the load to fall freely.
2) Make sure the lifting device is centered over the load
This will prevent the load from swinging and help keep everyone safer. It's especially important with unusually shaped loads. The operator should start the lift slowly to see how the weight settles and then make the necessary adjustments. It's not uncommon for an operator to make several adjustments when lifting unusually shaped loads. The extra time and effort is worth it when it comes to safety.
3) Make sure the rigging is sufficient to handle the load
All rigging is tagged with its designated lifting capacities at specific configurations. The operator should make sure that rigging can handle the load. Research indicates this is one of the most common mistakes operators make. It can create a very dangerous situation. Additionally, operators should be sure to use softeners on slings when lifting loads with sharp edges. This keeps loads from breaking or damaging the slings.
4. Lift in slow motion
Operators should use very slow speeds to lift the load. Only once slack is gone, rigging is tight, and obstructions are cleared can you carry the load freely to its destination. Remove rigging after the load settles.
Besides the proper safety techniques described above there are some devices companies should consider to increase the safety of their operators and other workers. First, anti-sway devices keep the load centered and prevent it from swinging hazardously. Second, Variable Frequency Drive, an inverter-driven control, allows operators to manage the crane’s speed smoothly and precisely.
Hoosier Crane has the expertise to help you with these issues. Please contact us at 800-509-6131 or 574-523-2945. You can also email us at hoosiercrane.com if you have questions