We’ve all seen those video clips about funny things happening at people’s workplaces. People falling off ladders, missing the chair when they’re going to sit down, the wind blowing cranes over—you know the clips we’re referring to. The reality is a little different though. It’s not funny when it happens to you!
If not operated correctly, cranes can lead to some very serious, even fatal accidents. With this in mind, if you need cranes, it’s important to opt for the right type of crane hire Melbourne construction companies rely on.
Top Crane Safety Tips
If you live in Australia, you undoubtedly remember the crane accident of February 2020 where a crane operator recklessly caused the death of a co-worker. You may also have heard of the incident in April 2019 in Melbourne where a crane transporting a premade home tipped and fell on two houses, causing serious injury to two workers. No funny clips here.
One of the top causes of crane accidents stems from reckless or negligent operation. This usually happens when inexperienced operators are doing the job, employees are fooling around, or operators are pushing the crane to do work above its proper capacity. That said, there are several safety tips that our experts recommend you read up on before opting for crane truck hire Melbourne companies use every day.
1. Use the Right Cranes and Lifting Attachments
The golden rule with any crane hire is to use the right cranes for the job. Keep in mind that cranes may look big and strong, but, as with other types of machinery, they also have weight/capacity limits.
Opt for cranes, lifting equipment and other accessories that have been made by manufacturers that understand Australian Standards. When asking about options, be specific about the types of loads you want to lift and move so that the rental agent can provide you with the right unit.
2. Do Adequate Crane Planning
Crane work shouldn’t be something you attempt hastily. It’s important to plan lift work in advance and assess all the risk factors involved. This can include weather, ground conditions and overhead obstacles. Doing this will minimise the risk of any potential accidents or structural damage around or on the job site.
3. Always Use Expert Crane Operators
Australian law demands that crane operators must undergo specialist training and receive a relevant licence before operating a crane of any kind. The operator should not only know how to operate the crane but also how its various components work.
Additionally, they must be certified in crane safety and emergency procedures. If you don’t have a certified crane operator on site or on your team, the good news is that many companies offer an operator with the crane that you’ll be hiring. While this may be an extra cost, it’s worth ensuring everyone in the area’s safety.
4. Inspections are a Must
It should be the number one safety rule on site that the crane operator performs a full inspection of the crane before work begins. The most crucial checks to conduct include:
- Mechanical mechanisms
- Hydraulic systems and potential leaks
- Electrical components
- Structural aspects of the machine and accessories
- Check last service records, concentrating on listed issues
Always take the operator’s concerns seriously and never hesitate to ask for the last maintenance report or history of a machine if you or the operator feel uneasy about any aspects of the crane.
5. Assess the Ground Conditions Before Planning Any Work
Any crane operator will tell you—a crane is only as good as the ground it has to work on. That means unstable ground, ice or snowy terrain and even mud from a heavy downpour can affect the crane’s safety. This in turn can have disastrous consequences for the operator and the people working or living around the job site. Always check the terrain before you start work for the day.
6. Be Cautious of Your Surrounds
The area above ground is as important as the ground the crane is working on. Not only do workers around the crane have to maintain a safe distance, but overhead power lines, trees and other buildings need to be considered before moving a load.
7. Enforce a Safety Checklist
On a busy job site with looming deadlines, it’s not unusual for teams to take shortcuts or forget to do certain tasks such as an extensive safety check. As an employer, team leader or project manager, always enforce a safety checklist that must be completed before any work is done with the crane or its accessories.
Crane hire is quick and easy if you use the right hiring company. Additionally, being upfront and specific about the job you need done will ensure you get the right crane as well as a certified operator.
While deadlines are crucial in a construction environment, the health and safety of your team will ensure that you can work together to reach many more deadlines!