When it comes to crane safety there are several things that companies and operators should be taking into consideration. Companies should be aware of recent legislation such as the revised Occupational Health and Safety Act here in Ontario. This act and other similar legislative works across Canada outline safety regulations for the operation, inspection and maintenance of lifting equipment. For example, in Ontario, owners of articulated cranes under 16,000 lbs. capacity must accredit their operators.
As the Canadian distributor for HIAB articulated cranes, we took steps to develop several training courses to help crane owners and managers accredit their operators under the provincial legislation. These courses were also designed to provide operators with the skills and knowledge to make lifting easier and safer, and improve the life of their cranes.
In order to safely operate a crane the operator must be completely familiar with his equipment, it's features and operational characteristics. A pre-operational equipment check should be performed prior to each and every use. Other important checks include a survey of the surrounding ground, load and overhead conditions. These checks must be performed not only to meet legal requirements, but also to ensure safe operation, high performance and long life for the crane.
To ensure safe operation it is essential that the operator follows all manufacturer's instructions for loading and unloading, maintenance and inspection. Daily and yearly inspections and a complete logbook are required by law in Ontario, and are often required to validate equipment warranties. Add to this preventative maintenance practices, and any company can have proper crane performance and extend crane life. An easy way to significantly improve crane safety is to add a remote control device to your crane. The remote control gives the operator an easier way to handle the crane by allowing him the freedom to move to the best vantage point.
The potential cost savings are substantial for companies that follow safe equipment practices. A well trained operator greatly reduces the likelihood of personnal injury and equipment damage. Safety conscious operators are more productive because they are able to get the most out of their equipment. Loading and unloading times can in turn be reduced which lowers a firm's overall operating costs. Placing a high priority on crane safety makes good business sense.