Dangerous Assumptions Operators Often Make Regarding Crane Safety

Crane inspections help to ensure safety in industrial operations. However, properly educating operators regarding safety precautions is just as important as running regular inspections when it comes to ensuring safety.

The following are some assumptions operators should know not to make when operating a crane:

I can go over weight capacity when loading the crane because there is a huge safety margin built into maximum capacity calculations.

When work demands are pressuring operators, they may be tempted to ignore capacity limits after making the assumption that they can go well over them without compromising safety.

While capacity limits obviously are not the absolute maximum weight that a crane can hold, it's risky to rely on safety margins when operating a crane. An accident during crane operation will cost much more in the long run than the slightly lower production that results when you operate below capacity limits. 

Lifting until the upper limit switch is hit allows for maximum efficiency when operating a crane.

Sometimes, operators assume that the more height they can get, the better. They therefore lift up to the upper limit switch on a regular basis when operating the crane. 

The upper limit switch of a crane is meant to prevent a crane's hook assembly from striking the drum. Regularly lifting to the point that the upper limit switch is hit increases the chances that safety will be compromised and crane equipment will be damaged by a collision between the hook assembly and drum. 

Having both a primary and secondary brake makes it safe to work under a lifted load.

Crane hoists have primary and secondary brakes. Although it's unlikely that both the primary and secondary brakes of a crane will fail, working beneath the load still puts workers at risk of severe injury. 

Some hoists are equipped with what's known as a regenerative brake as a backup for a primary brake. A regenerative brake is not designed to hold up a load on its own. Rather, it's designed to bring a load down at normal operating speed when the primary brake fails.

This means that workers beneath a load will be endangered by a primary brake failure if a crane is equipped with a regenerative brake as a backup. 

If a crane was working properly yesterday, it can be used today without inspection without any safety concerns.

Instituting an inspection policy at your facility is a good idea. However, you need to make sure that workers are adhering to your policy and not neglecting inspections for days at a time to increase productivity. Contact a company like All Ship & Cargo Surveys Ltd for more information.