Construction sites are dangerous. Be it whatever type of construction Even when everyone follows the safety policies and procedures enacted by the management team and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), accidents can still happen. One of the most tragic accidents that can happen on a construction site is a crane accident. These accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries, death, and millions of money in property damage.
Countless companies in the manufacturing and construction industries rely on overhead cranes to lift and transport materials. When installed and used properly, these systems make operations easier and safer. But, overhead crane accidents cause severe injuries and fatalities every year. Preventing these disasters requires workers to recognize certain hazards that occur during operation and follow safety procedures to avoid them.
There are multiple hazards that can arise regarding cranes in general. Many accidents involve large lift systems like tower cranes and mobile cranes. But hazards do exist with all types of cranes—including overhead cranes—and in all facets of crane operation.
Work Area Control
Section 1424 is designed to protect employees who work near a crane from being struck or crushed by the crane’s rotating superstructure. To prevent employees from entering an area where they could be struck/crushed, the employer must:
- Train each employee assigned to work on or near the equipment in how to recognize struck-by and pinch/crush hazard areas posed by the rotating superstructure.
- Erect and maintain control lines, warning lines, railings, or similar barriers to mark the boundaries of the hazard areas.
- Exception: When you can demonstrate that it is neither feasible to erect such barriers on the ground nor on the equipment, the hazard areas must be clearly marked by a combination of warning signs (such as “Danger – Swing/Crush Zone”) and high visibility markings on the equipment that identify the hazard areas. In addition, you must train each employee to understand what these markings signify.
Before an employee goes to a location in the hazard area that is out of view of the operator, the employee (or someone instructed by the employee) must ensure that the operator is informed that he/she is going to that location.
Where the operator knows that an employee went to such a location, the operator must not rotate the superstructure until the operator is informed in accord with a pre-arranged system of communication that the employee is in a safe position.