Crane Safety

A crane is a machine that can be used to move heavy materials. Cranes are often used in the construction industry when working with residential sites, commercial sites, manufacturing, and infrastructure. They can come in a variety of forms and can be used for many different situations. There are, however, important safety issues that must be considered when working with or near cranes. OSHA has established regulations and guidelines for work involving cranes for the protection of employees and facilities. In addition to OSHA guidelines, the designs of all kinds of cranes must meet the requirements of the Mechanical Engineering and American National Society Institute’s (ASME/ANSI) standards as well as those of the Crane Manufacturer’s Association of American (CMAA).

The most common hazards associated with crane operation are electrical hazards, overloading, and falling materials. Improperly trained crane operators can also present a serious hazard. For example, if the operator does not know the weight of the load and the capacity of the crane it can result in materials falling or the crane tipping. All of these hazards can be extremely dangerous for employees, the public, and facilities. OSHA requires all workers dealing with cranes to have proper training. In addition, crane operators must complete crane operation certification for using equipment with a capacity of 2000 pounds or less. The owner of the crane and the job supervisor are responsible for ensuring the crane operators are capable of operating a crane safely. The crane safety plan is part of the Site Specific Safety Plan. Training should include general crane safety, preventing lifting accidents, inspection, site preparation, rigging awareness, and industry regulations.

  1. Crane Safety Practices:
  • Perform regular maintenance:
    • Ensure the crane is safe to use.
    • Maintain hoists
  • Operators are responsible for the following:
    • Know the weight capacity of the crane.
    • Inspect the crane in detail every day before use.
    • Following lockout/tag out procedures when necessary.
    • Operators must be fully trained before operating a crane.
  • Always follow manufacturer instructions.
  • All employees working around overhead cranes must use proper PPE (head, foot, eye, hand protection).
  • Never walk under a lift.
  • “Hoists Danger” sign must be in place in the work area.
  • Employees who work with cranes must be trained accordingly:
    • Know the job specific procedure for working with a crane.
    • Know and understand all signs.
    • Know the safety procedures for working near cranes.
    • Training must fulfil OSHA requirements and must be recorded.
  • Only designated trained persons are allowed to operate crane.