The Crane is ready. The load looks set. Let’s go…
Ready, steady – wait,not so fast…
Before we get too gung-ho, we need to assess the risks.
Yes, we all love how cranes make lifting hefty loads possible. Yes, we can accredit a lot of the buildings’ construction around us right now to cranes. And yes, arguably, cranes are the best things since sliced bread…
However, crane operation comes with many potential risks and hazards. When dealing with heavy machinery and loads of any size, we need to find stability. If not- you could risk tips and tilts resulting in severe injury or deaths in worse cases.
Before we dig deep. Let’s identify the hazards.
When operating a crane, all parties involved must be aware of the Australian Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws and must follow, complete and sign off on Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) to avoid unwanted accidents. A general rule of thumb is to follow the following steps:
- Identify the hazards
- Assess the risks
- Control the risks
- Review the controls (and repeat)
Next, assess the site and evaluate the Crane
Before you get to lifting, you need to do some groundwork first.
• Is the ground level? If the ground unstable, soft or unsuitable for your work method, this can cause stability issues.
• Are there strong winds? If so, this can throw off the balance of your load.
• Have I determined the crane load capacity? This will set you up for success when you lift.
• And has the crane in use been inspected for possible defects? Damaged slings or chains can result in dangerous incidents.
Rigging arrangements and how to safely manage load stability.
Before we prepare for take-off, we need to assess the rigging arrangements. This is the pivotal point of securing load stability- and It all comes back to balance.
Maybe you can liken it to the balance you struggle to find at your Sunday yoga class – one wrong move, and suddenly your downward-facing dog becomes a downward crash against the floor. Yikes.
But crane’s, too, rely on complete balance (as well as the correct centre of gravity and leverage) to properly execute a lift.
How do we achieve this balance?
First- understand the ‘anatomy’ of a crane.
The main components are the superstructure, the carrier and the boom, and each has its own centre of gravity (or COG for short). However, to stabilise a load and secure your lift, the COG of all elements must be in alignment to create balance.
The crane riggers need to have this information in mind when they decide where is best to place the load. Generally, when the load is arranged with points above the centre of gravity- the lift will be stable. (liftingmatters.com.au)
From here, your rigger will decide on a secure slinging technique that is above the COG of the crane to avoid tilts, damaged loads and injury.
Have you ensured that the load cannot fall?
Check and see if you have implemented…
• Choke hitching
• Double wrapping
• Plastic wrapping of bins
• A balanced load
• The use of damage-free slings or chains
And a few more things to look out for:
• Always hire a crane from a trusted provider
• Work with a fully licensed trained professional
• Check crane’s rated capacity (never overload a crane)
• Avoid operating in poor weather (severe wind, lightning and rain)
• Implement clear communication between crane operator and dogger
• Stick to the plan
Finally, understand that there will be variables in each work site. This information is general, and we cannot physically assess the risks for you, so please ensure that all crew are aware of and can follow WHS guidelines.
About Regal Crane Hire Brisbane, Sunshine Coast & Gold Coast
Hi, we’re Haydon & Annette of Regal Crane Hire Brisbane. We’re a family-owned and operated Crane hire business founded in 2016.
Our fabulous team is well known as the South East QLD specialists in crane operations and hire for the commercial and residential construction industry, so crane hire is easy, profitable, and safe.
“Haydon and Annette are great to deal with, both onsite and booking jobs. The biggest thing for us in the building industry is time constraints and having companies running on time. They are never late and always work quickly and professionally.” John Lister
For more information about lifting your project and budget to new heights of success, please contact your residential and commercial crane hire specialists at Regal Crane Hire Brisbane, The Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast at email@example.com or by phoning us on 0431 171 332