Monday, January 11, 2010

Crane Operation Safety

By Norm Nyhuis, Training / Consultant, Evergreen Safety Council
Even though it is a typically rainy, January day, one coping technique for surviving winter in western Washington is to think ahead to those warmer and drier days to come. When spring finally arrives, many of us will be thinking about yard work. And those of us who use heavy powered equipment may be tempted to creatively adapt that equipment to facilitate the job at hand.

Since certification of crane operators is now a requirement for cranes used in construction, this photo illustrates several safety issues.

First – I’d give the guy an “A” for creativity – sort of following in the footsteps of the TV character, Tim “the tool man” Taylor. However, I’d run out of space before I covered all the potential dangers in this scene depicted. Here’s a few:
  • The web-sling rigging appears to be attached low on the mower: what is the center of gravity for this load, and could it overturn?
  • The ASME standard requires that personnel only be elevated in approved personnel baskets, equipped with appropriate fall protection, and only if no other means is available or practical to access the specific location.
  • At minimum, the manufacturer’s requirement that the equipment – both the boom truck and the mower – be used only for the purposes for which it was designed, is being violated.

Picture Source: Navy Safety Center

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