Importance of Safe Use of Cranes and HoistsMarch 26, 2015
The risk of an industrial accident diminishes greatly when the operator is properly trained. Similarly, inbuilt safety features keep machines safe and smoothly functional, thus extending the life of the machinery and underscoring an accident-free environment. Everyone's happy and safe, productive and optimally trained. Gantry or bridge cranes are very much a part of this class of equipment. The components of the crane are weighty and suspended up high. There are cables and pulleys, moving parts and electrical circuitry, any of which can lead to safety issues. Rather than hope these potential hazards are dealt with by manufacturers or companies, the appropriate action in this circumstance is to adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations Act.
Dealing with safety on the work site is crucial when enacting this legislature but accident prevention begins at the design stage. The fabrication of a high-end bridge crane begins with several factors. These include the load bearing capacity of the equipment and the ability of those parts to remain stable while the lift cradle moves into position. Stability and load capacity tolerances must remain within a specified safety margin during all phases of operation. The design information is also passed on to the facility where the crane is to be installed, which places the burden of operational responsibility on the owner and the designated employee who has been chosen to run the crane. All things being equal, this employee has been trained to deal with all possible lifting scenarios and is aware of major hazards. These include:
- Crane overloading
- Electrical problems
- Falling materials
- Failure of moving drive parts
Adequate training clarifies the right response to any of these hazards. Additionally, an employee should possess the experience to rig a load, the awareness to avoid open electrical conductors, and be issued with load charts, thus avoiding the possibility of overloading. The final component in our safety triangle, of which training and design are the first two points, is the provision of a scheduled maintenance plan. The intelligent evaluation of every running part and electrical circuit over a set period of time is essential when guaranteeing an accident-free environment.
The safe use of a crane under AS2550, occupational health and safety regulations, and other relevant codes, reinforces care of this potentially dangerous machinery and protects all other employees on the work site. Adopt an authorized training program when initiating the hiring of a crane operator and always be aware of where the onus of responsibility lays when the crane or hoist is going about its business. Design and maintenance are the underlying defensive structures in this scenario but a skilled employee is the man or woman on the line here, meaning there's no substitute for training.
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Norlane, Geelong, 3214,
ph: +61 3 5275 3252,
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