The construction industry is very important to the United States economy. Many businesses in this industry rely on heavy equipment such as cranes to get their work done. These are very useful, they can also be very dangerous for workers. It is for this reasons that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set rules and regulations for the safe operations of cranes. From using the right ground protection mats to having the proper fall protection procedures and equipment in place, companies can and must take steps t keep their workers safe.
The OHSA rules and regulations are not just there to be a problem for businesses. Between 1997 and 2007, there were at least 82 fatalities of people who were working on cranes. The first order of business when using cranes is to look at the ground conditions. Ground protection mats can be used to make sure that the ground on which the crane is placed is as secure as possible. Here are some tips to make sure you get the right crane pads for the job at hand:
- Evaluate the ground conditions. You should be able to go to the site and determine what the situation with the ground is. Knowing what your ground conditions are will help you find the right stabilizer pads for cranes to match your project.
- Look at the size of your equipment. You should know what kind of equipment you will need for the project and that will impact the size of the ground mats that you use. A ground protection mat that is too small will do you no good.
- Look at how much your equipment weighs. You have to factor in the weight of the crane operators and any other materials that will be in the crane when it sitting atop your crane mat. Make sure the ground protection mat can handle the load you will be placing on it.
Past getting the right ground protection mat for your crane, there are other steps that need to be taken to keep all your workers safe.
- Provide the necessary fall protection training and equipment. All construction companies are required to have the right fall protection equipment on site. They are also required by OSHA to make sure all workers who need to be working at a height of six feet or higher have the right training for all of the equipment. The best safety equipment in the world will do you no good if your workers do not know how to use it.
- Make everyone read the crane’s owner’s manual. While many people all at reading the owners manual for crane, their car or truck or anything else, it is an important step in keeping everyone safe. Being completely familiar with how to operate the crane properly is the first step in using it safely. For example, your workers need to know that they should never overload the crane. They should follow the guidelines set forth the owners manual. It will only know what these guidelines are if they have read and are familiar with the owners manual.
- Inspect your crane regularly. Develop a plan and schedule for both crane inspections and maintenance. Make it clear that crane safety is every employee’s responsibility. Everyone on your job site needs to understand that they have a role to play keeping everyone safe when using equipment, working at a great height we’re operating the crane. Making a point to have your workers inspector crane both before and after each shift. You should also plan for preventative maintenance. This should be done per the instructions and recommendations of the crane manufacturer.
- Establish appropriate lock out procedures. These will cutoff the power source to your crane when that is necessary. You need to be sure the crane is powered off during any scheduled maintenance work. You also need to make sure it is turned off when it is in the storage position. There is a saying,” a failure to plan is the plan to fail.” Having the right lock up procedures in place will protect your workers from injury.
OSHA put in place its rules and regulations for construction and other job sites not to make it difficult for businesses but you keep workers safe.