If you're hiring a crane for your construction site, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is safely transported, operated and delivered back to its owners at the end of the project. Cranes must be operated by trained professionals and without endangering any other workers or passers-by near the construction site.
There are two main dangers to watch out for: the crane collapsing or dropping its load. Other dangers include crane loads colliding with buildings or people, people getting stuck on the crane, malfunctions in mid-operation, etc. Such events can cause catastrophic injury and even deaths.
This article highlights four ways to ensure everyone's safety when hiring and operating a crane for your work.
1. Service/repair log verification
It is your duty to verify that the crane's service logs are current before hiring the crane for use. Ensure that all parts are properly functioning and any repairs that were noted were carried out before you hire it. This will also help you assess your responsibility related to crane maintenance and repair while it's in your care.
2. Planning and risk assessment
Assign a team to identify and plan for foreseeable risks during the transportation, mounting and operation of the crane. During these times, the crane is under your care and therefore you're responsible for any incidents that happen. In risk assessment, identify the persons that will interact with (or in close proximity to) the crane and ensure that they understand their responsibilities.
Highlight all the operations for which you intend to use the crane to ensure that its specifications can handle your purposes. If there is any uncertainty, be sure to over-specify rather than underspecify, which increases the chances of malfunction and injury.
3. Method statement
The method statement outlines plans for all lifting operations and how they can be carried out safely. It should be written down and communicated to everyone onsite and must include details of:
Preliminaries – site preparation and procedures for mounting and dismantling the crane
Communication – hand or other signals and other forms of communication between supervisors, crane operators and ground staff
Evaluation and crane and other equipment maintenance procedures
Training personnel or ensuring you hire trained personnel (the latter makes better economic sense for short-term projects)
Supervision and operations reporting by qualified personnel
Security and prevention of unauthorised access or use
4. Thorough examination
At prescribed intervals and in adherence to all legal requirements and regulatory standards, ensure that the crane is thoroughly examined. It is important to settle with the owner who is responsible for maintenance while the crane is in your custody. It is likely that the owner may want to send their own maintenance team, but you'll take care of the cost of maintenance and inspection labour. Ensure all the required logs and filled and reports are created and stored safely in case regulating authorities visit and ask to see them.
For more information, get in touch with a crane hire company such as Davo's Crane Hire.