Despite cranes beings an essential piece of construction equipment, it is surprising how much damage they can cause when something goes wrong during its operation. Crane failure not only exposes the crane operator to danger but also the workers at the worksite. Different cranes are used for different tasks at a construction site, and their failure may lead to minor, serious, or even catastrophic injuries at the construction site. The main cause of crane accidents is choosing the wrong crane. Van Adrighem cranes are trusted suppliers of heavy transportation, construction cranes, and earthmoving equipment. There are varieties of cranes for different job types, operations, and different weightlifting. Selecting the right crane for the job is a factor in making the work site safer for the workers and crane operators.
Common crane accidents are caused by crane dropping materials to the ground, crane lifting heavyweight than it should, failure of crane parts, unqualified crane operator, crane malfunction, or workers falling off the crane causing injuries. Proper training of how a crane works and regular crane inspection help to reduce common crane accidents.
Common types of crane accidents
- Crane collapsing
Crane may collapse during its operation due to human error like miscommunication, manufacturing errors caused by parts failure, improper assembly of the crane, the crane’s attempt to lift heavy weight than required, or unbalanced loads leading to crane collapsing or load dropping. Having good communication, following instructions, and crane inspection before and after operation prevent such an accident.
- Load dropping
Crane is designed to carry heavy and oversized items and overloading a crane may cause an accident to the workers, by-passers, or nearby structures at the worksite. Fatal injuries may result when load drops on the workers. Lack of good communication to the operator on where the load is to be placed, unbalanced load, chain links and hook failure, or lacking a good understanding of load center of gravity may lead to load dropping from the crane.
- Tipping over
Crane may tip over if it is overloaded, unsuitable conditions of the ground, or due to mechanical or operator error. Checking the ground condition before crane operation help to control crane position preventing the crane from tipping over. Taking precautions of the ground and using extra supporting materials may help to avoid crane tipping.
Power is a necessity in modern-day life. With many power lines passing above the ground, the crane operator risks being burnt or electrocuted if the crane encounters the powerline.
Electrocution accidents can be avoided by consulting the utility company on power voltage, observing crane maneuverability near a powerline, and using flags to demarcate the area.
- Crane boom collapsing
Different cranes have different load capabilities and having excess load weight can cause crane failure. Crane boom may collapse if it is loaded beyond its capabilities, putting pressure on crane mechanical and structural components. These may cause the load to fall on workers below, leading to injuries/accidents. Regular inspection of boom reduces the risk of accident as damaged, warped, or compromised boom reduces the determined weight limit.
- Crane operator falling
Some construction cranes use baskets attached to the crane, where the construction worker operates from. If the basket becomes detached from the crane arm, the worker may fall, causing serious injuries.
By employers providing proper training on crane operation with frequent crane inspection, accidents can be avoided.