Thinking of hiring a crane for your next job? These magnificent machines are such a familiar sight nowadays that we tend to forget the inherent risks associated with lifting tens or even hundreds of tonnes through the air. That might be why so many Sydney-siders are injured each year in preventable crane accidents. To tackle this problem, we’ve put together a list of five essential crane safety tips that will help you to safeguard your crane operator, bystanders, and equipment.
Tip #1: Watch out for power lines
Half of all serious crane accidents are caused by coming into contact with overhead power lines. Operating in close proximity to power lines is often unavoidable, and one small mistake or miscalculation can prove lethal if the right precautions are not taken.
To avoid falling foul of power lines, plan out the safety aspects of your lift carefully before the crane arrives on site. All potential hazards within a three metre radius of the lift site should be fenced or taped off, and you need to contact the energy company so they can ground the power lines nearby. Proceed with caution only once the lines have been de-energised.
Tip #2: Ensure a stable lifting surface
Soft, uneven, or waterlogged ground is another common hazard for crane operators. Cranes can easily topple over in such conditions, even with their outriggers deployed, so be sure to properly assess and prepare the site beforehand. If the ground is unstable, you may need to drain it and grade it first, or employ supporting materials such as blocking, cribbing, and mats.
Tip #3: Don’t overload your crane
You’d be surprised at just how many crane accidents are caused by simply trying to lift too much weight! Overloading your crane will cause structural damage to accumulate over time, and may result in heavy loads crashing to the ground or even the crane itself toppling over. To avoid any problems, make sure your crane operator is properly trained and familiar with the crane’s lifting capacity and load charts.
Tip #4: Be wary of side pulling
Crane hoists are designed to lift objects in precisely two directions: up and down. Lifting an object that is not directly underneath the hoist is known as a side pull, and causes a dangerous swinging motion to occur. If the load is even a few degrees off-centre, the extra mechanical stress applied to the crane by this motion can result in snapped cables and serious structural damage. Side pulling is really an issue that begins and ends with crane operators, so check that your operator is fully accredited and aware of the dangers before you proceed.
Tip #5: Maintain your crane
Cranes experience a lot of stresses and strains in the course of a typical work day, and they need to be properly cared for to prevent deterioration. Don’t assume that a crane which had no issues today will still work perfectly tomorrow! Structural damage caused by overloading, side pulling, or faulty components can build up to the point where the crane collapses or drops its load without warning.
Have your crane operator inspect the equipment at the start of each day for any signs of wear and tear (such as cracks, loose fasteners, and worn out ropes), and check that the controls and electrical components are working correctly. In addition, regular professional maintenance should be carried out to ensure the crane is safe to use.
Call Dixons Cranes for crane hire in Sydney
If you’re in the Sydney area and looking to hire a crane, you can’t do any better than Dixons. Our fleet is constantly checked and maintained to ensure it meets the highest possible safety standards, and we also provide fully trained operators to make sure your next lift goes ahead as smoothly as possible. Whether you need to hire a crane in Parramatta or the Blue Mountains, call 0473 DIXONS for Sydney’s safest and most reliable crane service.
If you are looking for the most professional crane team to complete your lifting job, or want to support a locally owned and operated crane company in Sydney, call Dixons Crane Service today. Our fully trained and experienced teams are ready to provide you with the first-class service, skilled lifting and efficient workmanship that we have built our reputation on.