There are various types of cranes used in environments that have heavy lifting requirements. Overhead cranes are some of the most widely used in the engineering and manufacturing sectors. They are invaluable due to their ability to hoist both light and weighty loads with ease. Also known as the bridge crane, this extremely useful tool greatly enhances efficiency and improves throughput by speeding up the movement of components throughout the production chain. As with all machinery, caution should remain at the core of all operations when using this popular tool. A machine with the ability to hoist several tons of steel should obviously be handled with the utmost care.
Important safety precautions
Just like all other industrial machinery, accidents can and do occur when using an overhead crane. Many of these accidents often lead to serious injury and in extreme cases death. Fortunately, it is a proven fact that businesses which are unwavering sticklers to manufacturer and state regulations during equipment use experience far fewer industrial accidents than those who fail to adhere to them. Some important precautions operators should take when using these cranes include:
The crane should be inspected regularly as per manufacturer and industry regulatory requirements. Several crucial parts should not escape evaluation.
As the component that directly holds the load to be lifted or lowered, it is vital to ensure its physical integrity. Any visually discernible fault such cracks or warps should be detected early and corrected promptly. It is recommended that hooks should be checked on daily basis.
Hoist chains and connections
They should also be checked daily for any malformation and damage before use every day. Damaged sections should be promptly repaired or changed.
This is one aspect of the daily inspection routine that should never be skipped. Confirming that the wire rope seats firmly in the drums grooves is an essential aspect of crane safety. You should also make sure that the load chain parts are correctly configured.
Any strange sounds emanating from moving parts during operation should be treated with great suspicion. This could be a pointer to worn out parts that may require replacement.
Warning signs and labels
The inspector should ensure that all safety related labels are clearly visible. Audio warning systems should also be checked before use to make sure that they are functioning and audible.
Apart from the recommended daily inspections, a periodic detailed inspection should also be carried on several components of the crane. The inspections should cover cracked members, worn out sheaves and drums, loose nuts and/or bolts, motors and electrical switches.
The health and safety executive is explicit regarding the safe use of lifting equipment. Carrying out comprehensive regular inspections and using only certified crane operators lies at the core of their strategy. Research among industries in the UK has consistently shown that rate of industrial accidents among is low among industries that adhere to industry regulations and high among those with low compliance. When safety guidelines are properly applied when using overhead cranes, they are probably some of the safest machines to use. Stay safe always.