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How To Minimise Risk In Mobile Crane Operations

Mobile cranes are heavy machinery and require serious consideration and planning before and during use. Even as a trained and experienced mobile crane operator, it’s likely you will be using your mobile crane for extended periods of time. Over that time you will get tired and distracted. So it’s important that you start the use of the your crane with the right safety procedure, and continue to be mindful of potential risks to yourself and others on site.

Weight of loads

Double and triple check that your crane, ropes, chains and hooks are all rated to safely carry the weights you need to lift.  Ensure that you know the correct speed for the loads you are moving.  The consequences of using a crane that is not built for the loads you are moving, or using rigging that is not sufficient, can be catastrophic. It’s vital to check that your equipment can safely do the job. We recommend that you take moment to lift your loads slightly off the ground before proceeding with the major move, to be sure the rig is capable of the move.

Rigging methods

Skilled and experienced operators should be well aware of how best to rig hooks, chains and loads to the crane.  This not only means using safe rigging, but also ensuring you are using the crane as intended. We recommend always using the rigging and structure as intended by the manufacturer, ensuring the outriggers are fully extended, and ensuring no fewer than two coils are on the drum at any time.

Gears & Equipment

Even though we test and maintain our equipment to the highest possible standard, we still recommend that you test the crane, and all your equipment before beginning work. This means ensuring the brakes, gears and rigging equipment are all functional and undamaged, ensuring the safety equipment is in place as intended, and ensuring all personnel are aware of the hand signals in use. We recommend posting a sheet of the hand signals in communal areas so personnel can quickly become acquainted.

Some extra tips

Wildmans Cranes has had many years to accrue experience with mobile cranes and heavy lift machinery. Here are some of our other helpful tips for staying safe around a mobile crane.

  • Only let qualified personnel operate the crane, and have experienced personnel monitor more junior operators where possible.
  • Worn equipment can be dangerous and should be replaced.
  • Ensure all personnel wear PPE around the crane
  • Ensure all crane walkways and platforms have anti-skid surfaces, guard rails, hand-holds and steps where necessary.
  • NEVER lift a load over the heads of personnel on site. Block access to areas within the swing radius of the crane.
  • Watch for overhead electrical wires to prevent damage to your site and the buildings around you.

Wildmans Cranes is a leading provider of crane hire and lift machinery in Sydney. If you’d like to discuss how we can help you on your next project, get in touch today!

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