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The use of a construction crane for lifting operations brings a wide array of benefits and opportunities; however, it is brings with it a great risk of injury to employees. Therefore, it's important that you click here for more info so that all lifting operations are thoroughly planned in order to keep staff as safe as possible. Below are three considerations you have to consider when hiring an operational crane:
Strength and Stability of Lifting Equipment
Before any lifting work can be carried out, it's important to ensure that all equipment is of adequate strength. This typically involves calculating the structural strength of each specific part and checking this against the likely design loads induced on the structure throughout its life. This process can be simplified by the use of crane load charts, which every operator should have a thorough understanding of prior to carrying out lifting operations.
When calculating structural loads, it's imperative that all likely load combinations are accounted. Depending on the crane's intended use, these can include rare occurrences such as seismic (earthquake) loads or motion-induced loads (if the crane is on a vessel). Once these combinations have been accounted for, a factor of safety should be applied to ensure there is an acceptable safety margin on the equipment.
The magnitude of this safety factor depends on the type of loading being considered; however, if people are being lifted then a high factor should be adopted. Additionally, it's important to consider structural fatigue due to repetitive loading when sizing a construction crane.
Positioning of the Crane
Due to nature of crane operations, the position of the lifting equipment can have a major effect on the safety of carrying out the works. The reason for this is that slight changes in the position of the crane and equipment can cause a significant rise in the structural forces and moments, creating hazardous situations if the allowable loads are breached. Additionally, as crane operations are dynamic in nature, swinging crane jibs and other equipment can strike people and other equipment, so it's vitally important to keep the range of motion in check.
To keep the loads stable, there are a number of approaches you can take. Typically, crane operators will use one of three methods:
Each of the above may be used exclusively, or a combination of all three used in order to provide a high degree of stability to the crane and jib.
When deciding on the optimum position for the crane, you have to ensure that additional risks do not arise from proximity to other equipment. For example, you must position your crane in such a way that it does not interfere with overhead power lines, as serious danger can be posed to your staff and equipment if these lines are damage. Additionally, you should make every effort not to interfere with buried services such as sewers and drains.
Crane operations are extremely complex, and as such should only be carried out by fully trained professionals. With that said, even the most experienced of crane operators can face trouble, so it's important to take proper precautions to protect your staff.
The first thing you have to ensure is that there are no gaping holes that could cause someone to fall down into a shaft. Although you have to provide access to these areas, you should do so by using a secure door, gate or barrier. These gates should be interlocked and activated only when an lift or cart is present.
Additionally, you should take care to ensure that your employees aren't injured by suspended loads. You should aim to avoid suspending loads over occupied areas; however, it's understandable that this isn't always feasible. When this is the case, you must designate the area directly underneath the load as a "danger zone". Access to this zone should be restricted and only permitted when absolutely necessary.