Overhead lifting devices are generally considered to be safer than their on-floor counterparts. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to ensure safe operation of overhead handling equipment. This article provides guidance on the safe application of overhead handling solutions.
Procurement of equipment
While acquiring the equipment, you should ensure that the crane has a valid Test Certificate and is accompanied stickers / tags. You should maintain your crane and its accessories in a condition that cannot potentially endanger an operator or other employee. For all outdoor cranes / hoists, make sure that the equipment and all sensitive components have been designed with the correct Ingress Protection (IP) enclosure and proper shelters. Check with your supplier whether all the required safety certifications for the equipment are intact.
Training of employees
It is of utmost importance to train the employees who would be using the equipment, on the safe operation of equipment. Even if they are well-versed with overhead lifting devices, various models from different brands come with different specifications. Hence, it is necessary to make your employees well-versed with the equipment that you have.
Crane operators must visually examine the crane to ensure that it is in working condition, and test all limiting and indicating devices under no load condition every day they start working on the equipment. The operators must report any defects found to their supervisor immediately.
They should look for the following things:
- Inspect the hook for nicks, gouges, deformation of the throat opening, wear on saddle or load bearing point, and twisting.
- Check the chains and chain slings for any defect. Make a thorough inspection and report the defect if you find the chains to be cut, twisted, cracked or broken.
- Accidents due to the rigging of loads can often times happen due to inadequate knowledge of the rigger or the operator’s assistant. A rigger should be thoroughly adept with the operation and aware of the lifting capacity of the equipment and the weight of the load she is rigging.
Safety guidelines for operating equipment
Other things to be kept in mind while operating overhead handling equipment:
- Do not lift a load from the side.
- Center the crane directly over the load before hoisting to avoid swinging the load.
- Never lift loads over people; clear the path where the loads are to be lifted.
- Communicate clearly with the lifting team before and during lift.
- Use Tag Lines or Push/Pull Sticks to help control the load.
- Do not overload crane or hoist beyond its rated capacity.
- Ensure that the load is properly secured before lifting.
- Do not multi-task when operating the crane.
- Do not operate the crane in a rushed manner.
- Do not leave suspended load overnight or unattended.
Conco is a leading manufacturer and supplier of various overhead solutions. To know more about our products, click here.