Rigging is an important part of construction employment. It is used to lift heavy materials with cranes and other machinery. Riggers also pose as signalmen. Not properly rigging of a load can expose riggers and co-workers nearby to a variety of hazards. Cutting down on accidents through a successful program, your company can not only increase its productivity, but eliminate the risk for a high-cost OSHA fine or lawsuit.
Attention to Detail
When lifting heavy loads, having a keen eye to every detail is serious. These details contain crafting an engineered heavy lift/assembling plan that takes hazards into account, advising the right heavy lift equipment for a specific job, and having skilled workers on the site.
Common Causes of Crane Accidents
The top causes for accidents when working with cranes are they come in contact with power lines, flip over while moving a heavy load, employee’s dropping loads, collapsed booms, outrigger fails, rigging failures, and counterweight crushes. To prevent further accidents, companies have created safety procedures and protocols.
- Be Observant
Employees should always be observant and obey all safety regulations. Not just for the company, but to ensure that all employees are in no danger involving heavy equipment.
- Be Alert
Being alert at all times keeps accidents from happening. Employees who stay alert and do their job prevent safety hazards from happening.
- Unsafe Practices
Employees should report ALL unsafe work practices and conditions to your manager. If your manager does not comply immediately, go to the highest authority.
- Perform Your Own Tasks
Only perform tasks that you are qualified for and assigned directly to you from your manager. Never perform any task that you are not properly trained for. If you are unfamiliar with a tool or piece of equipment, advise your manager immediately.
- Proper Wear
Wearing the proper footwear and clothing is important. When working with heavy equipment always wear steel-toed boots and no loose clothing. Jewelry and loose clothing can result in injury as it may get caught. Wear the appropriate uniform such as issued work hats, snug pants, T-shirts, safety glasses, hearing protection and hard helmets.
Goofing off or horseplay should never be done around heavy equipment. Wait until you are off the clock and away from dangerous tools to mess around with your co-workers.
- Safety Signs
Always obey “No Smoking” and other safety signs. There may not be anything visible that could explode, but you should always be cautious in work environments.
- Doubting Yourself
Most important rule, if you are in doubt or are just not sure, ALWAYS ask questions first, don’t do first then question later.
In performing erection dismantling and operation, cranes must be inspected daily and tested monthly. If anything is damaged, employees are to be escorted to a safe area while the crane is under mechanic supervision and protected from movement of heavy equipment.
- Operating and Unattended Equipment
Do not operate a crane without a signalman if the object of operation is not in direct view. No operation is to be done if the wheels of the crane are off the ground unless the proper bearings are on the outriggers. Unless authorized and have the proper training, do not operate any heavy equipment. When operating cranes or other heavy duty machinery, wear your safety seat-belt. Be sure to look behind and in front of you before backing up or moving forward.
Never leave running equipment unattended or allow co-workers to hang or ride on them. Do not stand under any equipment or allow others to do so either and always check to be sure blades, buckets, rippers or other moving part of the machinery is lowered when unattended.
- Hand Signals
Always use uniform crane hand signals when operating cranes or other heavy machinery and always be very cautious and alert around any heavy equipment.
Before clocking out and heading home for the night or weekends, be sure all tools are safely put away and heavy machinery is parked, shut down, all sharp or dangerous parts are covered and check over the equipment to ensure nothing is damaged to properly to avoid any injuries or accidents of you or your co-workers.
No matter how careful you and your crew are, there is always a small chance of an accident. Make sure your company is covered with the risk management solutions from Allied Insurance Brokers. At Allied, our specialty crane coverage packages minimize your organization’s exposure to protect your bottom line and keep you in business. Start lowering your risk and discover how Allied Insurance can help your crane business by contacting us today.
*Allied does not deem this blog entry as a complete and thorough listing or overview of the above topic, and does not recommend it be primarily relied on. It only highlights some common issues and resolutions. For a thorough overview, please contact Allied’s Risk Engineering Division.