Operation of Cranes –Precautions and Safety Measures to be Taken

Heavy equipment like cranes must be handled with utmost care and caution. Cranes are commonly used in places like mines, oil rigs and construction sites. Careless operation of such equipment may lead to fatal injuries or even death. A major cause of these accidents is not ensuring the proper use of “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)”. In case the crane operator is not skilled and trained enough to operate the crane properly, it may lead to accidents and injuries.

Crane operators, prior to operating a crane, must be provided adequate heavy equipment training. These trainings teach them about the safety precautions to take and emergency procedures to carry out. Such trainings allow crane operators to perform their duties in a responsible way.


Cranes should be handled very carefully

Apart from undergoing training on how to operate such heavy equipment, you should keep certain factors in mind when operating a crane. Some of the factors are listed down here.

  • Before using the crane, conduct an extensive inspection of the crane. Check out if there are any dysfunctional control buttons or switches, missing or loose parts in the crane. Make sure that the springs and latches are secure and function normally. Check for the presence of any irregularities in the sheave guard, sheaves and load chain. It is recommended not to ignore anything that you find to be different from normal and rectify the problems immediately.
  • Be aware of the load capacity and make sure that the crane never exceeds its load capacity. As the operator of the crane, you have the right of refusing the lifting of a load if you find the weight of the load to exceed the crane’s load capacity.
  • During disassembly or assembly of the crane, do not remove or unlock any pins unless the sections are secure and blocked.
  • Prior to lifting a load, make sure that it is fastened and rigged in the correct manner. If you have doubts and need clarifications, feel free to consult the site supervisor. Utilize the device meant for load indication. However, you have the right to refuse to lift a load if you find anything faulty. So, take each and every action carefully.
  • Prior to delivering load, raise the load for a few inches, hold it and verify the balance or capacity and the test brake system.
  • Make sure that the crane stands on a stable and firm surface.
  • Before starting the crane, ensure that your path is completely clear of obstacles, stray animals and people.
  • It is always good to keep some distance from all types of electrical lines. Keep away from power lines even if they are not energized. Power lines are a cause of a number of accidents on construction sites.
  • Always be prepared for an emergency. Have an audible signaling device with you. Use the device to warn people present around the site in the event of an emergency. In case of an emergency, procedures to rescue the crane operator should be carried out properly. You must always be accompanied by fire extinguishers when using a crane.


The safety measures you need to take as a crane operator, are numerous, and the above mentioned ones form a few but important among them. You should be equipped with full knowledge of the safety procedures and measures before you start operating the crane. Although your heavy equipment training institution would be providing you the required knowledge to handle cranes safely, it is also important for you to be extremely alert while operating such heavy equipment.

Summary: Heavy equipment like cranes calls for extreme care and caution when it comes to their operation. Operators of cranes must have full knowledge of handling cranes safely.

Author’s Bio: Mary James is a guest blogger who likes writing articles on heavy equipment like cranes.  She also writes about various products used in industrial applications like Composite Grating. Her articles are a good source of information for the readers.

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