Company Name __________________________ Job Name __________________________ Date________
young construction worker was killed the same day his wife was coming home from
the hospital with their first child. How did this occur? A heavy, bulky section
was being transported by a crane, which had to carry it six or seven feet in the
air to clear other objects. The load was equipped with tag lines, which were
being used to guide it by all of the workers except this young man. Although
warned by his foreman to use the line, he didn't. A lifting pad gave way and he
was killed instantly.
IF IT'S IN THE AIR, IT'S DANGEROUS
This incident reminds
me of a slogan I once saw: "if it's in the air, it's dangerous." This
is something to remember even if the mechanical equipment seems to be in good
Let's review some of
the rules that can help keep us from getting injured by failing loads:
A load that can be
carried close to the ground can be stabilized by a person at each end. These
individuals must stay in the clear at all times, and the ground surface must be
unobstructed and reasonably level. Taglines should always be used where needed.
And definitely where the load is to be carried more than five feet above the
ground. In some cases, ten-foot taglines should be used to guide loads being
raised and lowered, rather than using extremely long lines that drag around the
job and can snag on some- thing.
On all jobs, only one
person, generally the lead person, should give signals to the crane operator. If
you are assigned the job of directing the crane, follow these basic rules:
1. Always use standard hand signals to direct the crane operator.
2. Stand in the clear and place yourself where the operator can plainly see you and you can see the operator.
3. If you can't see the load and another person is signaling to you, be sure every-one is in the clear before you give the signal to the operator. Remember, it takes time to relay signals.
4. Never permit a load
to be lowered, raised, or swung over a worker's head. If the operator can see
the load, it's the operator's responsibility -without exception -to see that
this rule is followed.
"If it's in the air, it's dangerous."
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