Cranes are essential in any construction site where workers need to hoist loads. They make work easier and ensure the project is completed in a short time. Crane riggers work hand in hand with the operator. They set up the crane, attach loads and direct the operator to prevent accidents on site. The extract below discusses some crane rigging safety precautions.
Riggers should inspect the site to identify hazards that might affect crane operation. For instance, the crane's boom could get trapped in low lying branches and electrical lines. Cranes are heavy; as such, they could damage underground water, gas and sewer lines. Flags should be erected around such areas to warn the operator of underground hazards.
Riggers expose themselves to a lot of risks when inspecting and operating the cranes. As such, they should have personal protective clothing such as gloves, helmets, boots and reflector jackets. Besides, they must have an emergency plan that they can use in case of accidents at the site. For instance, some of the riggers should provide first aid to injured colleagues while others could contact emergency services such as firefighters and ambulances.
Cranes must be inspected daily. The riggers should check the following:
- The condition of the crane's engine. For instance, strange engine sounds and loss of power are a sign of severe engine problems.
- The boom should extend to its full length.
- The riggers should inspect the hydraulic system for signs of air or water contamination.
- The crane's frame and connecting components should be free of rust, dents and cracks. Besides, the riggers should tighten any loose bolts.
- Check the wire rope and pulleys for damages. All moving parts should be well lubricated.
Other than inspecting the crane, riggers must maintain the crane's service schedule. For instance, brakes, filters and lubricants must be replaced on time.
Below are a few tips to observe when rigging the crane:
- The crane should be used on a rigid and flat surface. Otherwise, it could topple when loaded.
- Riggers must identify blind spots and decide how they can direct the operator to prevent accidents.
- The crane should never be overloaded.
- The crane should not be used in severe weather such as storms and heavy rains.
- Riggers, operators and other employees on site should adopt an effective means of communication. For example, they could use flags or walkie-talkies.
Crane riggers ensure safe operation of cranes. They should identify on-site hazards, inspect the crane and observe safety when the crane is in operation. Besides, they must wear protective gear.