Company Name __________________________ Job Name __________________________ Date________
EIGHT CRANE DANGER SIGNS TO WATCH FOR
If you work around cranes, you should be on the lookout for the following
eight danger signs of improper operation. If you see any of these occurring on a
jobsite, immediately inform a supervisor before a catastrophe takes place. Here
are things to watch for:
- Outriggers, crawler tracks, or tires raised off the ground while operating.
This is an extremely dangerous condition which indicates the crane is being
overloaded and may tip over or collapse. The wrong move in this situation can
cause a catastrophe.
- Operating close to power lines or other dangerous objects. Electrocution due
to contact with power lines is the leading cause of crane related fatalities.
Detailed federal regulations for proximity to high voltage sources must be
strictly enforced. Any potential danger should be pointed out to the crane
operator or a supervisor-but never touch the crane at this time.
- Riding the load or crane hook. This is a serious violation of federal and
state safety regulations. Crane structures and cables have far lower strength
margins for handling material than what is required for lifting personnel.
Workers must never be suspended from a crane boom unless an approved personnel
basket with mandatory safety equipment is used, and lifting procedures are
- Visible structural damage on the crane or rigging. There is little or no
back up system in the load-supporting components of most cranes. A damaged
component can fail completely and without warning, causing the boom or load to
- Modifications made by adding extra counterweight or holding down the rear of
the crane. All job initiated modifications are illegal and may permit
overloading the crane. If not approved by the crane manufacturer in writing,
these modifications can over stress critical structural components, which could
cause failure of the crane.
- A crane operating near a trench or excavation. Cranes exert extremely high
loads on the soil near the tracks, outriggers, or tires. A crane set up in close
proximity to an excavation can cause soil failure, crane turnover, and possible
- The crane is noticeably out of level while operating. There is no faster way
to collapse a crane boom than to impose a side force on the boom. Working out of
level creates a dynamic side force which means a crane collapse may be imminent.
- The crane's hoist line is not vertical at all times during operation. This
indicates improper operation. A hoist line which is not vertical obviously
indicates that the load is not hanging straight down. Out of plumb loads can
cause crane collapse by generating side forces on the boom. In some instances,
the crane may tip over if the load swings.
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