What Is the Best Way to Prevent Crane Accidents?

March 16, 2016

Earlier this month, a crane fell over at a construction site in West Palm Beach, Florida, according to the Palm Beach Post. The construction site where the accident took place is the future location of All Aboard Florida’s West Palm Beach station, which is one of four stations that will be a part of the express rail line route between Orlando and Miami.

The crane was 130 feet tall and weighed 110 tons. According to a construction worker who witnessed the incident, the crane, which also had the ability to drill, fell over after it caught onto something as it was drilling. Thankfully, no one was injured as a result of the accident. However, next time we might not be so lucky, which raises the question: how do we prevent crane accidents?

Five Best Ways to Prevent Crane Accidents

  1. Evaluate the Construction Site – Analyze potential construction sites to determine if there are hazards or potential hazards that could cause a crane accident. Factors to use during analysis include whether there is enough room for the crane to operate, the location of powerlines, the type of soil that makes up the area and the location of underground pipelines.
  1. Set Up a Safety Plan – Create a safety plan for every crane in use during construction and ensure that the plan is followed throughout construction. The plan should include maintenance and inspection schedules.
  1. Designate an Employee to Oversee Crane Operations – Put a competent employee in charge of crane operations on the construction site. OSHA considers an employee competent if he or she has been trained, knows industry applicable standards, has passed qualification related to a specific operation, is experienced, can recognize on-the-job safety hazards and has the power to stop unsafe actions.
  1. Use Properly Trained Personnel to Operate Cranes – Only allowed crane operators, crane riggers and crane signalers that have been fully and properly trained to operate, maintain and direct cranes on your construction site. A properly trained crane operator should be able to read and use load charts, conduct pre-inspection, set up the crane and run the crane competently.
  1. Teach Employees About Proper Crane Operation Safety – Any employee on your construction site who is working near a crane should receive training regarding basic crane operation and safety.

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