The usage of cranes in the construction and manufacturing industry plays a vital role in the way companies function. Crane systems allow for a more effortless and safer operation when transporting products and bulk materials. However, what happens when the very machine that is supposed to make a job easier and safer, no longer is safe? How does an operator determine the safety of a crane?
Regardless of the benefits that these machines bring about, there is still a great risk of injury when proper precautions are failed to be made. Preventive measures should be on any crane operator's agenda, which is why it is important to acknowledge the potential hazards and to take safety procedures seriously. Standard safety inspections are more than just for compliance of regulation: they are potential lifesaving procedures.
There are a multitude of cranes available on the market, and with the large variety comes many opportunities for accidents. Safety inspections are, of course, done to comply with government standards, as well as company standards. Even so, those compliance procedures leave very little room for error. According to OSHA 1910.179, frequent and periodic inspections are required for the proper function of crane systems, regardless of the type. These inspections ensure that cracks aren't developing due to excessive wear, electrical wires running through the crane are not compromised, bolts are not loose, and the list goes on. Any crane defects could lead to injury if an operator failed to correct these findings during a routine safety inspection.
Knowing that the environment is a safe one allows employees to work to their full potential. Doubt creates a breeding ground for error. Having the knowledge that a crane is fully operational and certified secure builds confidence in the worker's ability to use the system.
While taking that extra step to inspect cranes may seem mundane, corners should not be cut due to the nature in which cranes are utilized. If an overhead crane fails during the lifting and transport of a product or heavy item, not only could proprietary property be damaged, costing money in repair, but major injury or fatality could occur. That is why maintenance and inspection of any overhead system should not be taken lightly. Risk assessment allows for the promise that operations will run smoothly, which is important for any thriving business.
Implementing routine assessments establishes a habit of maintaining a safe worksite. This will help companies comply with safety standards, which in the end will reduce worksite accidents. Accidents will happen. However, frequent and proper crane safety inspections guarantee that the next accident won't be someone's last.