Overhead cranes are a vital part of the construction field and the industrial transportation from docks and loading facilities. They are also found offshore on the platforms for loading and unloading barges. On average, there are 42 to 45 deaths per year due to accidents with cranes. Almost all of these deaths could have been prevented with implements of safety and preventive maintenance.
OSHA inspections are a must, and load testing is critical to everyone involved in loading and unloading with the rigging techniques and equipment. Training is mandatory for each individual who works with the company and repairs and refurbishes the equipment.
Causes of Death and Injuries
The majority of those injured or killed in overhead crane accidents are not adequately trained, on medication at the time, or those who cut corners and ignore preventive maintenance. Freak accidents can always happen at any given moment, and awareness is survival in the industries as danger lurks around every turn.
The knowledge of the load is the most valuable information because one wrong move in rigging means life or death for anyone in or around the area where the loading occurs. All chains, ropes, rigging equipment, and the crane itself must not only meet but exceed the weight capacity of the load.
With load testing, the weight is not the only thing that needs close observation, but the size, dimensions, shape, and how the equipment is loaded make all the difference. The weight testing is the first part which is by law found on the devices used in rigging. It will be engraved within the metal, usually at the connecting pieces.
How the load is placed on the barge, trailer, or platform is also critical. If the center of gravity is off, the entire shipment will tip over, causing it to crush anyone in its path of falling.
Crane Safety Training
Crane Safety Training is conducted by the OSHA-certified trainers who have complete knowledge of the industry, equipment, and everything used to get the job done safely. Preventive maintenance and safety are the most stressed about within the training. All those who work in the shop to repair and refurbish cranes to those on the field jobs must become certified to work on or operate the cranes. Those rigging or using the hand signals must also participate in the training and become certified before performing their job.
Final Words on Preventive Maintenance
Preventive maintenance is like a pre-trip inspection. Before taking a long trip, you want to ensure the vehicle is working correctly and will not leave you 1000 miles from home or your destination. Cranes are machines that move equipment or cargo from one location to another. These are some things to look into when performing inspections:
Chain links are not broken or rusted;
Rigging Devices are not rusted, broken, or outdated;
Hydraulic oils and other fluids are full;
Testing to make sure everything is in good working condition.