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Crane safety at construction sites can save lives

Many heavy items are needed in the construction industry. Getting these into place isn't easy without the use of heavy equipment. Cranes are one of the pieces of equipment necessary to get these items where they need to be.

As much as cranes do to help construction workers, they can also be very dangerous at the site. Proper safety is a key to using these machines without endangering the men and women who are working in the area. Here are some points to consider:

Pay attention to capacity

All cranes and hoists have a limit for the amount of weight they can handle. Exceeding this limit can lead to accidents, such as the crane tipping over. Around 80 percent of crane failures have this type of incident attributed as a factor in the accident. It is easy to accidentally exceed the weight limit, so you must be extra vigilant when you are the operator. Making sure that you are handling situations properly can help to keep you and others around the crane safe.

There are a few risks that come with overloading a crane. The crane might tip over, but that isn't the only risk. The load can break loose from the crane or it might swing uncontrollably. All of these risks can be minimized if crane operators aren't expected to estimate load weights. Load measuring systems are one option that construction companies have for enabling crane operators to accurately determine a load's weight.

Secure items properly

Making sure that all items being lifted on the crane are properly secured can help to avoid the items falling on someone. All crane operators and anyone who is working with that person to get items loaded should understand the proper safety guidelines for securing loads on the crane they are working with.

Trying to prevent loads from slipping is a major concern when lifting heavy items. Loads that shift might lead to mechanical failures that can cause serious accidents. While it won't prevent every injury, workers who are around active cranes should wear appropriate head protection, as well as eye gear and similar safety items. This might help to minimize the risk of workers suffering a catastrophic injury.

Check for electrical lines

Make sure that you know where electrical lines are located when you are operating a crane. Anything metal coming into contact with an electrical line can be disastrous. Almost 200 people die from electrical line contact each year. Around three times as many suffer injuries. Planning the specifics of the job ahead of time is one of the most effective ways to avoid coming into contact with a power line while you are working on the crane.

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