Maintaining a safe work environment in which cranes are employed can be complicated Cranes are mobile, they move heavy loads, and they involve having people working at heights greater than six feet.
Most accidents in the workplace are caused by human error. Error can be minimized. Crane safety, in its entirety, is complex, but there are five basics that every employer should have in place, so they know they are employing the best fall protection systems for their workplaces.
1) Adequate Safety Procedures
Employee experience and common sense are not sufficient to maximize safety. The right procedures must be introduced. Both OSHA and CSA have rules and regulations in place which set certain standards for anyone working on industrial, transportation and construction sites where crane safety is required.
Crane operators, supervisors, inspection, and maintenance personnel must all be familiar with those procedures. One area that demands familiarity is fall protection.
2) Proper Training
Every employee must be trained to recognize the presence of danger in the workplace. They must be trained in ways to minimize danger, and they must know what their own responsibilities are with regard to danger, so they can prevent accidents from happening.
3) Safety Cards
Being familiar with safety standards and following a training program on those standards is one thing, but working to those standards is another. Employees should each have a card which lists the safety protocols that they are required to follow. Falling, or causing someone else to fall, is a constant hazard in this type of work environment. Employees should read their card before each shift, so the details are always fresh in their minds. Ignorance, forgetfulness and inattention cause too many accidents, so if everyone continually reminds themselves about how to avoid an accident they are less likely to happen.
4) Appropriate Fall Protection Systems
Any fall protection system is better than none, but making sure the most appropriate fall protection is in place is best. An employee can fall climbing in or out of a crane cab. It is estimated that 21% of all falls happen this way. An employee can fall because the crane operator maneuvers a load resulting in that employee’s lifeline being dragged by the boom or by it becoming entangled in the crane’s cables. An employee can fall because they trip or slip moving along a walkway. In all such cases the right fall arrest system is essential for minimizing injury.
5) Call in the Experts
Different cranes in different workplaces deliver the potential for different fall incidents. The obvious way to minimize accidents is to have fall protection experts analyze the situation, design the most appropriate fall arrest system, install and maintain it.