5 Things You Need to Know About OSHA’s Crane Certification Rule

crane certification

Are you in the crane operation business? If so, you likely know that industry professionals haven’t exactly been on the same page regarding what certification means.

However, all of that is about to change — and fast.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been engaging in talks with the industry regarding what certification means and how to conduct it.

In light of this, the administration in late May 2018 published a new Proposed Rule. OSHA hopes the Proposed Rule will address the problems that have prevented the mandatory certification of crane operators.

Concerned about how OSHA’s crane certification rule will impact the industry? Here are five things you need to know before November 8, 2018, when things take effect.

Let’s get started!

Background on the Crane Certification Rule

OSHA’s Proposed Rule, published on May 21, makes it unnecessary for a crane operator to receive certification based on a crane’s capacity.

This decision has received support from most of the industry’s stakeholders. These stakeholders expressed their support since OSHA first published the rule back in 2010.

However, OSHA has also used the Proposed Rule to lay out plans for addressing other essential industry matters.

For instance, the Proposed Rule highlights what responsibility employers should have beyond operator certification. This includes the ongoing training and evaluation of their crane operators.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about the Proposed Rule.

1. Employers Must Still Evaluate Their Employees

With OSHA’s Proposed Rule, employers’ responsibility for evaluating their operators would be permanently maintained.

This issue has sparked a great deal of dispute between OSHA and the industry. Over the years, both sides have been at odds regarding crane certification’s role.

According to OSHA, stakeholders have emphasized that the certification of crane operators is advantageous.

After all, it establishes a minimum threshold for a crane operator’s familiarity with and knowledge of crane operation.

Employers, in particular, have reiterated the importance of involving companies in making sure that crane operators are competent in their craft.

Why exactly?

Because, according to OSHA, a crane operation standardized test couldn’t replicate every condition that an operator may face at a job site.

Still, questions linger regarding how frequent, and detailed employer evaluations should be.

The Proposed Rule’s requirements are not as complicated as those that OSHA previously drafted.

Still, OSHA will no doubt receive plenty of feedback on them from employers that will need to review.

2. Certifying By Crane Capacity Is No Longer Necessary

Many professionals in the crane operation field have been saying for months, maybe years, that requiring crane capacity-based certification should be removed. And they may finally get their wish.

OSHA in its Proposed Rule has proposed getting rid of this requirement for one main reason: It is unnecessary.

OSHA also stated that the requirement would be a financial burden on today’s employers. And employers wouldn’t experience safety gains as a result of it.

At the moment, the requirement remains an option. Still, this could also go.

In its Proposed Rule, OSHA welcomed comments on whether it should remove the words “or type and capacity” in its final rule as well.

According to the agency, these words may cause confusion about whether capacity-based certification is mandatory at the state level.

3. Employers Have to Pay

OSHA’s Proposed Rule also emphasizes that employers have to offer certification for free to their workers.

According to OSHA, this mirrors other rules requiring employers to offer medical exams and personal protective equipment for free to their staff.

4. Crane Certification Requirements Still Cover Smaller Cranes

Many industry players didn’t doubt this would happen. However, that did not stop a handful of industry organization from trying to get smaller cranes and other cranes excluded from OSHA’s certification requirement.

By “smaller cranes,” we’re referring to cranes with capacities of 5,000 to 35,000 pounds. By “other cranes,” we’re referring to those utilized only intermittently or for performing repetitive lifts.

OSHA determined that its certification requirements should still cover these cranes since they present the same types of hazards you have with larger cranes.

Also, according to OSHA, crane-related injuries and fatalities can happen even when you’re performing duty-cycle work with such cranes.

Just as OSHA’s certification requirements still cover these cranes, it also still excludes other types of equipment.

This other equipment includes side-boom cranes. It also includes derrick apparatuses and equipment whose maximum lift capacity — as rated by the manufacturer — is no more than 2,000 pounds.

5. Watch out for November

As we mentioned earlier, the current rule is slated to take effect this November. That’s because last November, OSHA announced that it would extend its certification requirement compliance date to this November 10.

Why? Because it would give the agency enough time to look into its operator certification record and address a couple of issues.

One of these issues involved the certification of crane operators by capacity.

The other issue involved determining whether certification and qualification should be deemed equivalent.

However, the question now is, can the nation’s safety agency get the Proposed Rule turned into an OSHA Final Rule before November?

OSHA honestly doesn’t think this will happen. This is why the agency has proposed asking for an extra six months to ensure that everything is in line. This means we would have until April of 2019 to get everything squared away.

OSHA might also issue an order to its compliance officers that would prevent the existing rule’s language from being enforced. Only time will tell what will happen with this Proposed Rule.

How We Can Help

We offer top-of-the-line crane operator training as well as accident investigation services. We stand out in the industry for our stellar customer service and years of expertise.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about how OSHA’s proposed crane certification rule may affect you in the months and years ahead.

Marvel at the Largest Cranes in the World!

largest cranes in the world

Who says size doesn’t matter? We say go big or go home – and there’s not a lot of things that are bigger and more impressive than construction equipment.

Big toys cost big bucks. The construction industry is a great example of that, raking in an enormous $192 billion per year. That amount keeps growing every year, too!

So what kind of bang do you get for your buck when it comes to construction cranes? A whole lot – and you can take that to the bank.

Ready to see the largest cranes in the world? Check out this incredible list of some of the biggest toys you’ve ever seen!

Crane Qualifications

Before we do a deep dive into some of the biggest cranes you’ve ever laid eyes on, let’s talk about qualifications.

What makes a crane big? It’s not just size; that’s just a part of it.1

When you see one of these big beauties in the wild stretching up to the sky, it definitely is awe-inspiring. But a crane can be big in ability, too.

How much can a crane lift? What are they designed to do? We considered all of these factors while putting this list together.

Whether you’re into height or might, we’ve got you covered.

The Kockums Crane

This Swedish behemoth was erected in Malmo, Sweden. Due to the sheer size of the thing, it drew admirers from far and wide.

On the record, this crazy crane could lift a few thousand metric tons. Supposedly, it was able to lift far more than that. What a shame they never let it loose to test its raw power!

The Kockums Crane earned an interesting nickname – “The Tears of Malmo”. The story goes that the shipping town of Malmo cried when their favorite crane was taken down in 2002. Who knew a crane could make a town cry?

These days, the fabled crane lives out its life in South Korea at a Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard.

Liebherr ltm 11200

Big. Yellow. Different. There’s no other way to describe the Liebherr ltm 11200.

It earns its spot on the list of largest cranes in the world not only by sheer size. This big boy is plenty powerful, too. The 11200 is the most powerful mobile crane on the face of the earth. That’s right – it’s mobile!

It gets around on the back of an 18 wheeler powered by a 680 horsepower engine. Once this crane is fully assembled, it can lift nearly 1,180 pounds and can reach a height of 550 with all of its extensions.

Liebherr truly deserves a spot on the largest construction companies in the world.

SSCV Thialf

Have you ever heard of a crane vessel? That’s a crane that’s so large that it actually qualifies as a shipping vessel. The SSCV Thialf is just such a beast.

Not only is it one of the largest cranes in the world, it’s the largest crane vessel. It can house hundreds of workers on it at any time.

The SSCV Thialf boasts two cranes and a mind-boggling – yet unproven – lifting capacity. It’s built to lift an amazing 14,200 metric tons but no one has attempted to try it out – yet.

Right now, this incredible creature roams the fjords of the Netherlands. It was used to construct the pylons of the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.

The Asian Hercules III

The third iteration in a long line of enormous cranes, the Asian Hercules III is a sight to behold. It is one of the most versatile and largest floating sheerlegs cranes in the world.

On single lifts, it can hoist a whopping 5,000 tons by itself. When it joins up with other cranes, it can meet and exceed that mind-blowing number.

Part of a joint venture between two construction manufacturing giants, this crane has a lot of offshore installations and decommissioning work.

Liebherr LR 13000

Liebherr makes the list once more with the Liebherr LR 13000. This mountainous monster is the biggest crawler crane in the world.

How much can it lift? Glad you asked. It can hoist up to 3,000 tons all on its own. This crane is made for constructing nuclear power stations.

Weighing in at 748 tons and with a dizzying reach of 473 feet, there’s no doubt it belongs on the list of largest cranes in the world.

Saipem 7000

This versatile crane is a strange creature indeed. Like a mythical hydra, it has two revolving cranes, each sporting a 459-foot boom. Each hydra head is backed up by 15,600 horsepower engines and can lift 7,000 tons apiece.

The Saipem 7000 spends its days installing large oil production platform decks and their supporting structures.

Reportedly, this crane cost the U.S. government around $400 million dollars. Once you see it in action, you’ll know your money was well-spent.

Sarens Giant Crane 140

Without a doubt one of the largest cranes in the world, period, the Sarens Giant Crane 140 is also the world’s largest heavy lift crane.

Its boom reaches 130 meters and it has a radius of 50 meters. But the big numbers are in the lift. The Sarens Giant Crane 140 can hoist around 3,200 tons. As you can see, it’s clearly earned its nickname – “Bigger Benny”.

Taisun Gantry Crane

We saved the best for last – the Taisun Gantry Crane. No list of colossal cranes is complete without this one. To see it is to witness the eighth wonder of the world.

This impressive piece of machinery is capable of the heaviest crane lift ever. The Taisun crane can easily lift 20,000 metric tons. No, we didn’t lean on the zero key – that’s the amount it can hoist out of the water.

Largest Cranes In The World – And More

Now that you’ve seen the list of the largest cranes in the world, which one is your favorite? There’s too many to choose from!

If you want to see more of the biggest cranes ever, check back on our blog frequently. We’ve got tons of amazing machinery and useful info that is updated all the time.

Do you have some equipment of your own that needs maintenance and testing? No worries! Contact us today for all of your training and inspection service needs!

The Ultimate Guide to Overhead Cranes

overhead cranesYou don’t have to reach far to find the reason so many manufacturing and fabrication companies rely on overhead cranes. These powerhouse contraptions operate smoothly for low operating costs.

Their versatility can make managing a floor easy. It’s also not a stretch to say that overhead cranes make up nearly 1/3 of all cranes used in the industry. Few things can compete with the power and convenience.

Not convinced? Well, let’s take a look at what an overhead crane offers in features that you can take advantage of.

Don’t wait until your floor is clogged and navigation becomes impossible. Get invested in the single greatest floor management equipment around.

Types of Overhead Cranes

To start understanding the benefits of an overhead crane you first need to break down what it is. An overhead crane functions by keeping the boom and lifting apparatus above the work floor.

Two overhead crane types exist: the bridge crane and the gantry crane. Each provides a slightly different set of advantages and utility.

Bridge Crane

The overhead bridge crane runs across a track which has been elevated. The hook motion can be utilized along multiple axes. These axes give the crane the ability to go up and down, back and forth, and from side to side.

The crane can be mounted either above a girder system or underhung on those girders. The girders provide a lot of stability for lifting loads but obviously restrict the range of motion.

Bridge cranes can’t be moved easily, or really at all without a total re-install. However, they offer maximum stability for the area they are in and can support enormous structures with speed and safety.

Gantry Crane

Gantry cranes are the slightly smaller of the types of overhead crane. These cranes run on tracks or wheels set on the floor. The crane boom still extends overhead, which gives it the categorization.

Gantry cranes, as they are mobile, can be used in multi-building and external environments and setups.

Supports can be extended from the wheels or the base of the crane to provide added stability when working in an area. The tradeoff in mobility does come at an overall less stable piece of equipment.

Crane Classifications

Now you understand the differences between the two overhead crane definitions. Next, we can talk about the crane classification system.

The CMAA (Crane Manufacturers Association of America) rates cranes. They use criteria such as how many times the crane starts per hour and the lifted capacity percentage.

  • Class A for standby or infrequent service
  • Class B for light service
  • Class C for moderate service
  • Class D for heavy service
  • Class E for severe service
  • Class F for continuous severe service

Each classification can be used anywhere, but they represent trends in best case utilization. The classifications increase in their necessity for reliability.

The first grouping, class A, covers cranes which sit idle for long periods. These are often operated slowly and only occasionally require a maximum capacity lift.

Class B operates low but consistent frequency. These also need to be slow-paced and sometimes at maximum lift loads.

C and D cranes get the most use across the industry. These provide loads that reach capacity about 50 percent of the time. The C classification covers load averages of up to 10 an hour. The D classification moves up to 20 lifts an hour on average with a lift maximum occurring 65% of use.

Classification E and F require a lot of maintenance costs as they run in near continuous operation. These are expected to be lifting capacity loads 80% for E classification. E will be lifting as many as 25 loads per hour.

At the final F classification capacity is hit at 90% or more. These cranes also are expected to lift as soon as they unload.

Classification F cranes normally feature multiple girders and top-riding bridge cranes. The expectation to operate at peak efficiency can mean trouble. These cranes need to be thoroughly inspected and serviced routinely to prevent accidents.

Safety

Safety on the floor when operating a crane starts with understanding the capacity and capabilities of the crane.

A general rule of thumb is also to avoid moving loads over personnel.

A crane operator should know the tolerance of the unit so they know what it can handle safely. They should also be aware of the general weight of any cargo being lifted.

Straps and chains should be used to secure shifting loads or multi-piece load that may move suddenly when starting and stopping.

A whole set of individual guidelines exists for crane safety. The guidelines cover items such as materials being transported as well as the environment of transport.

The single largest danger when operating a crane comes from overloading. However, efforts to get overload protection on cranes has not gone smoothly. This safety feature would prevent the crane from operating when it detects on overly heavy load. Some manufacturers have built this into cranes, but it remains non-standard.

Install Preparation

The first step in planning for an overhead crane installation comes down to what type is needed. This question covers how often a crane is needed, where it will be needed, and what support structures exist.

Choosing the right classification and type of crane ensures a solid investment for a company. Making poor or short-sighted decision can cost a lot of money to modify buildings around the crane so the crane can work properly.

Without proper consideration of the install, a crane can be one of the most expensive paperweights in the world.

Don’t install a crane internally and expecting it to be used for lifting and setting loads outside of a radius. This has been a problem for more than one manufacturer that didn’t plan ahead.

Rise Above

Now you understand the value overhead cranes provide to your manufacturing efforts. If you need to know more about what services we provide, check out our about us page.

Contact us for training and inspection services in your area. We can fill you in on specific model details or arrange timelines for testing and inspections.

How A Lifting Equipment Inspection Increases Workers’ Safety

lifting equipment inspection

Is the lifting equipment you use on your construction sites on a regular basis as safe as it can possibly be? In the past, studies have shown that a high percentage of fatal construction accidents have been directly related to faulty lifting equipment or the improper use of it.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, better known as OSHA, doesn’t have specific standards set for testing lifting equipment. But the organization does recommend that companies inspect equipment and provide employees with training, so that safe lifting takes place.

If you operate a company that utilizes heavy-duty equipment, you should consider having lifting equipment inspection done as often as you can. It will help make your job sites safer for those who work for you.

What Is Lifting Equipment?

Before you can actually have lifting equipment inspection done, you should understand what lifting equipment is. Lifting equipment is, as its name would suggest, any equipment that is used to either lift or lower loads.

There are many examples of lifting equipment. Some of these examples include:

  • Overhead cranes
  • Forklifts
  • Patient hoists
  • Telehandlers
  • Lifting accessories

Do you utilize one or more of these types of equipment on a regular basis? Then you could likely benefit from having an inspection done.

What Takes Place During Lifting Equipment Inspection?

During a lifting equipment inspection, a certified company will take your lifting equipment and put it through a series of tests. They will lift items and bring them back down to see how well your equipment responds to picking things up and placing them down again.

A company qualified to conduct an inspection should be able to supply weights that range anywhere from 50 pounds all the way to 100 tons. That being said, your equipment obviously does not have to pick up all of that weight if it’s not capable of doing it. Additionally, you don’t have to check to see if a piece of lifting equipment that is rated to pick up 10,000 pounds can actually do it.

A lifting equipment inspection will simply show what kind of condition your machinery is in and what it can do when it’s put to work out in the field. The goal of your inspection will ultimately be to show that your lifting equipment is safe to use.

How Will It Make Your Workers Safer?

Safety is of the utmost importance on all construction sites. A lifting equipment inspection will make your site significantly safer in a variety of ways.

First, it will demonstrate how much weight your cranes, hoists, and other machinery can lift without presenting a potential safety hazard. You will know that your lifting equipment meets safety standards when you have it tested accordingly.

An inspection will also reveal any issues that might exist with the various parts of your machinery. While you should be doing routine inspections on the components already, your machines will face higher levels of stress than usual during an investigation designed to test its ability to lift. If your parts don’t hold up to it well, it might be time for you to replace individual parts to make your machines safer.

Finally, an inspection can also be used to test out the various safety features on cranes and other heavy equipment. These features are in place to protect your workers, but chances are, you don’t always get the opportunity to put them to the test. You can do it under controlled conditions with the help of a company that specializes in inspecting lifting equipment.

How Often Should Lifting Equipment Be Inspected?

Now that you know how helpful a lifting equipment inspection can be to you and your workers, you’re probably wondering how often you should have them done. The truth is that it really all depends on the equipment you have and how often you use it.

In general, you should always have lifting equipment inspected before it’s used for the first time. From there, it’s advisable to have it inspected about once every 6 to 12 months.

Any equipment used to pick up and lift human beings, like elevators, should be inspected more often than other equipment. But your basic lifting equipment needs to be checked at least once every year, if not more often. Obviously, cranes and other equipment that are used on an almost daily basis can benefit from being inspected more often.

Who Can Inspect Lifting Equipment?

In addition to having lifting equipment inspection done regularly, you should make sure it’s done by a company you can trust. The company should be able to provide you with someone who has experience and knowledge with inspections.

When you have an inspection done, the company that completes the process should provide you with a full written report at the end of it. That report should indicate:

  • When the inspection took place
  • When the next inspection should happen
  • Any defects that were found in your lifting equipment during your inspection as well as information on how those defects could potentially compromise the safety of your machinery

You want to feel confident with the results of your inspection when everything is all said and done. The only way to do it is by working with a company you can rely on to provide you with a thorough inspection.

When Should You Make Lifting Equipment Repairs?

If the report you receive after your lifting equipment inspection indicates problems with your machinery, you should address them immediately. By making repairs to your machines, you can ensure they don’t pose a safety threat to your workers.

You want your lifting equipment to be in good working order at all times. You can prevent accidents from occurring on your job sites and protect yourself in a legal sense by reviewing the results of your equipment inspection. Using the results, ensure repairs are completed before machinery is put back into service.

Schedule a Lifting Equipment Inspection Today

Inspect your lifting equipment now to cut down on the risks on your worksite. Atlantic Crane Inspection Services offer professional inspections services for your cranes to ensure all safety standards are met. We’re here to help to prevent potential unwanted accidents.

Take a look at our blog for more information on testing cranes and other lifting equipment.

How Often Do You Need to Schedule Load Testing?

load testing

What’s the ideal strategy for load testing? Some believe that a fast and efficient load testing is your best option. Others say a realistic test is a better use of your time.

Most testers lean toward the realistic test, but realism can be incredibly-consuming.

It not only delays testing but usually leads to unnecessary risks.

In Extreme Programming Explained, authors Kent Beck and Cynthia Andres advise that catching the issues early on and fixing them before they become worse is ideal for a development lifecycle.

A third option is to go with “good enough” testing. In many cases, this approach leads to better results.

If you spend 20% of your time on configuring the test and still learn 80% of what you needed to know, then you can find problems when they are easy and inexpensive to fix.

The 80/20 Rule For Load Testing

The 80/20 rule is all about the idea that 20% of your efforts lead to 80% of your results.

Creating a load test is a great example of the 80/20 rule. A load test configuration is hard.

There are a lot of parameters you have to tweak in order to obtain the type of user behavior and simulation you need.

A lot of people get into load testing with the idea to simulate the perfect reality through their load test and know exactly how many users their production system can take.

The problem is, simulating reality is really hard and requires a lot of time and energy to make the test happen and the majority of those times those efforts won’t hit their intended target. And therefore making an unrealistic simulation.

This leads to an incredibly pricey undertaking and time-wasting load test that might not give you results you seek.

Any companies, organizations etc. who spend a lot of time and resources on load testings are going to avoid doing one unless they absolutely have to.

That usually means they don’t do a load test until right about the launch and the time to fix anything is gone. Not to mention the cost of fixing the problems will be very expensive.

Simplify

Here’s where the 80/20 rule can make all the difference.

If you don’t aim to simulate reality perfectly, the configuration will be simplified. 20% of all your efforts will be in play instead of 80%.

Your results might not be the exact number your production can handle, but it will tell you if your performance is lacking and identify your performance bottlenecks.

And because this kind of test is easier to configure and run, you could run even more tests throughout the stages of development and discover a lot more than you would have from a solo test.

Running more tests early in the process also enables you to identify problems and performance issues earlier, which mean less money spent and a shorter development phrase.

Best Practices

These sound like a lot of good ideas, but something you can’t overlook is how to put them into practice?

How exactly do you cut away the complicated elements of your load testing variables in every situation? A good idea is to is use a simpler model of user behavior while designing your load test.

The simulated user might be a bit more static than a real user, a couple of set sequence of pages and no randomization.

Or, perhaps, you could have simulated users try a randomly selected page on your website and ignore that some pages are visited more often than others.

If you’ve ever tested an API-driven application such as a mobile app, you could find it more helpful to not to focus too much attention to user flows and focus instead on API endpoints, individually or as a mix.

If you can find out how many cells per second API endpoint X will have 1,000 users, you could run a test that creates that exact number of requests per second and see how the backhand deals with it.

This will reveal where the bottlenecks are in your system and do the same for each individual endpoint. (Exercising many endpoints in the same test is something you could do as well.)

Usually, you won’t receive much more information from proper simulating user flows and complicating the load test configuration. The most simple test you can run is hammering a single API endpoint one at a time.

It’s a cinch to configure and if you can run that test again and again for every endpoint during the application’s early development phase, you’ll be in good shape for the performance release date.

Realistic Simulation

Complicated tests have their place too. But if you’re running simple stress tests more often, then starting there is probably the best bet before you go for the more expensive tests that simulate reality.

Here is a quick list of the benefits of simple tests.

  • Simple tests need less time and energy
  • Running more tests is possible due to the simplicity
  • More tests enable further opportunities to improve your test setup
  • Frequent and smaller tests enable you to run tests earlier in development, catching issues sooner and decreasing the risk of costly problems and prolonged delivery dates
  • You’ll also learn what types of traffic don’t put unwanted stress on your backend and what does
  • You’ll discover how your back end responds and get a solid idea what you should be looking for, what logging functionality to rely on and how to maximize your testing.

This results in you being more prepared for bigger and more expensive test. The larger test will feel small after the smaller one.

Good Is Better Than Perfect

Real has value, but don’t lose sight of the downsides.

Aiming just for a perfect simulation could result in you missing the core issues. Start small and then eventually go for the bigger scale testing.

This doesn’t mean problems won’t come up in later development even if you do smaller tests. That said, smaller testing can help avoid last-minute issues.

If you can get 80% of the results you need with 20% of the effort, you’ll have more time to deal with other projects.

For more information, contact us here.

Tower Crane: The Top 6 Skyscrapers Built With Cranes

How did we get the Burj Khalifa or the Freedom Tower, you ask? With a tower crane of course. Here’s a list of the top six buildings built with cranes.

Without a doubt, skyscrapers are impressive feats of engineering. In cities around the world, incredible buildings stretch up to the heavens.

A building enters the category of a skyscraper if it stands 150 meters (492 feet) or higher. Of course, many skyscrapers stand much, much taller as you’ll see in a moment.

Have you ever wondered how the workers get up there to build these incredible buildings? It would be impossible to build skyscrapers without the use of a special piece of equipment. This aptly named piece of equipment is the tower crane.

There are so many amazing structures builders can create with the use of a good tower crane. Let’s take a look at some of the top buildings cities around the world have built with tower cranes.

Tower Crane Inspection

Burj Khalifa

You cannot create a list of the world’s tallest buildings without mentioning Dubai. The city is home to the luxurious and impressive Burj Khalifa. This mammoth structure dwarfs the rest of a city already full of skyscrapers.

At the time of this writing, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. It stands at 829.8 meters (2,722 feet) high. The Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia is poised to usurp that coveted title. But until construction is complete the Burj Khalifa has it.

In a city known for its extravagance, the Burj Khalifa does not disappoint. As you can imagine, it’s possible to pack a lot into a building this tall.

The Burj Khalifa boasts 30,000 homes, 19 residential towers, 9 hotels, and a 30-acre manmade lake. There’s also a shopping mall and space for offices.

The rest of Dubai is nothing to sneeze at either. Imagine what the view from up there is like.

Shanghai Tower

Shanghai has quite a few impressive structures, but the Shanghai Tower takes the cake. This building stands 632 meters (2,073 feet) tall. As elegant as it is tall, the building twists in a graceful way up to the sky.

It creates a trio with the Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower. This trio represents China’s past, present, and future.

The building houses 320 hotel rooms and space for 1,100 cars. There is also retail space, cafes, restaurants, and gardens.

For a breathtaking sight you’ll never forget, visit one of its 360-degree public spaces. Shanghai is an impressive place and it seems even more so when viewing it from so high up.

Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel

The Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel stands at 601 meters (1,971 feet) tall. Thus it is not the tallest building in the world. But it does have the largest clock tower.

The building is in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. But a German architect, Mahmoud Bodo Rasch, designed the gigantic clock. How big is that clock? The face of the clock is 43 square meters (141 square feet).

It is also called Abraj Al-Bait Towers. This building is important to Saudi Arabia’s culture and society. A large part of the building’s purpose is to offer services to Islamic pilgrims. Located not very far away is the Masjid al-Haram, the largest mosque in the world.

Inside, the building contains apartments, hotel rooms, a conference center, and shopping mall. It also has a huge prayer room (10,000 people), an Islamic museum, and a Lunar Observation Center. Visitors can go to the Observation Center during the Holy Months to view the moon.

In keeping with the Islamic culture, there are 21,000 green and white lights on top of the tower. These lights flash to signal prayers 5 times a day. They serve as a reminder to anyone within a 19-mile radius!

Ping An International Finance Centre

China makes the list again with the Ping An International Finance Centre. This sleek beast resides in Shenzhen and towers over its neighbors. It stands 599 meters (1,965 feet) tall.

In the original design, it was going to surpass the Shanghai Tower. That would have enabled it to claim its spot at the tallest building in China. During construction, however, a 60-meter antenna was removed from the design.

The reason? The builders were concerned about it being in the way of airplanes.

Ping An Insurance has their headquarters in this building. And there is ample room for more office space, hotels, retail space and a shopping mall. The top of the building boasts an observation deck from which you can see the whole city.

Lotte World Tower

Seoul, South Korea gets in on the action with their Lotte World Tower. This brilliant building stands 555 meters (1821 feet) tall.

This may be the most fun building on the list. It contains a theme park, movie theaters, and a huge shopping mall.

Of course, there is also ample space for residences, retail space, and offices. At the top, there are public access floors and a great observation deck.

One World Trade Center

The One World Trade Center holds great significance for the United States. The building is both a memorial to 9/11 and a statement of hope for the future.

Even the building’s height holds significance. It measures 541 meters or 1,776 feet. Remember that the Founders signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Lots of forward-thinking technology was added to this building. Of course, an innovative new security system was very important.

Plus, there are great bits of technology like life-safety systems and sustainability. The building also uses renewable energy, reuses rainwater, and has heavy fireproofing.

The building holds office space, restaurants, and antennae for broadcasting facilities. The transportation hub for the World Trade Center is there now. Plus the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

The Importance of The Tower Crane

None of these buildings would exist with the tower crane. It is a very important piece of equipment for construction, especially of this type.

We exist to ensure that these cranes are in good working order. We also offer training to ensure that the operators know what they are doing.

Tower crane operators need to be properly trained to ensure safety. Between 1992 and 2006 roughly 22 workers died per year in crane accidents. The right training and proper inspections can prevent most of these accidents.

Contact us today! We’ll be happy to provide more information about our training or inspections services.

How Crane Inspection Services Improve Safety and Productivity

Improve Safety and Productivity with Crane Inspection

Using a third-party crane inspection service can help to ensure that all parts are in a good condition. Read on to learn how this improves safety.

From 1992 to 2006, there were an average of 22 construction worker deaths each year due to crane accidents. This resulted in 323 construction fatalities during this time period. There are numerous factors that can cause such accidents, but regular crane inspection can prevent at least some of them.

Close-up Worker inspector  holding clipboard on the background of construction

What Are the Leading Threats for Crane Operators?

According to the report from the Center for Construction Research and Training, there were a few common types of accidents.

Overhead power line electrocutions caused the most fatalities, with 32% of deaths recorded. Crane collapses caused 21% percent of fatalities, and 18% were caused by workers getting struck by equipment.

Most of these accidents can be attributed to user error. Some, however, can be blamed on faulty equipment or other factors.

How Can Construction Accidents Be Prevented?

The greatest way to prevent any type of construction accident is by providing worker training.

Too many workers are brought on to a project without learning how to do the work. Each piece of equipment requires special training on how to use it. This is particularly true with heavy equipment like cranes.

If a construction project gets underway without crane operator training, you’re asking for trouble.

What Kind of Training is Needed for Crane Operation?

It’s about much more than just know how to use the equipment. As we saw above, most crane-related fatalities occurred from overhead power line electrocutions.

Workers must be aware of the dangers of surrounding them on each job site. They also must be trained on how to manage these dangers and work around them safely.

Poorly trained workers may not realize that certain practices are unsafe. They also might not be aware of threats to look for in the job site.

Even weather-related factors like snow and ice, or strong winds can impact the safety of a construction site.

Heavy rains may cause the ground to shift under heavy equipment. Icy roads may cause the crane to slip, or even cause workers to slip near equipment.

Workers must be trained on how to use cranes and other equipment in all types of situations. They must also be trained on how to identify risks in the environment and how to manage them safely.

How Does Crane Inspection Improve Construction Safety?

Not all crane accidents are related to outside factors like worker error or the weather.

Some problems are due to malfunctioning or broken equipment. The only way to find these problems is by performing a regular crane inspection.

Just like your car requires regular inspections to make sure it’s running efficiently, so does your crane.

How Does Crane Testing Improve Productivity

In addition to worker safety, regular crane inspection will also improve productivity. Any time a piece of equipment breaks down, your team will experience unexpected downtime.

Depending on how long it takes to find a replacement part or a different crane altogether, this is time added to your project. If you had a tight deadline already, this could cause you to miss it entirely.

Inspections ensure equipment is functioning properly. This can prevent breakdowns, and improve productivity.

Common Crane Tests

There are a number of tests that can be performed for your crane inspection.

Load Testing

Load testing, for example, can make sure that your machine is capable of carrying the weights you need it to. If you have a small crane that can only carry 500 lbs, it could collapse or tip over under the weight of 1,000 lbs. Load testing lets you know what weights your crane can safely move.

Dielectric Testing

As mentioned earlier, the greatest threat to crane workers is electrocution from overhead lines.

Believe it or not, working with the right type of crane in the right type of condition can save workers from this risk.

Dielectric crane testing checks to see if your crane can protect workers from a live power line. It makes sure your boom’s insulation could withstand expected voltage. Even insulated bucket trucks and insulated digger derricks may not withstand all voltages.

It’s necessary to see just how much protection your equipment provides. Otherwise, your workers could be at grave risk when coming into contact with live workers. This is one crane inspection you can’t ignore.

Maritime Inspections

Different applications require different types of equipment. And different types of equipment require different inspections.

Shore Base and Barge Mounted Cranes are required to meet the regulations defined by OSHA Maritime Enforcement under 29CFR 1919.

When working at sea, the risks become even greater. If an accident were to occur, there’s limited space for workers to escape to. There are also limited resources available for rescue.

Crane inspection is critical to maintaining safe operations aboard any maritime vessel.

What to Look for in an Equipment Inspection Company

Now that you know the importance of regular crane inspection, how do you find a reputable inspection company?

In general, it’s best to find a local service provider. Local companies will be aware of regional inspection requirements if any exist. They will also be more accountable since it will be easier to send out a technician to do the work close by.

Above all, find a company that follows the national certification program offered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). They should also provide training to prepare candidates for NCCCO examinations.

A good inspection company will have multiple inspectors and trainers available to support your needs. It also helps to have trained engineers on staff who are familiar with more technical issues.

This type of company can become your partner in ensuring safe equipment and providing necessary training to workers.

Where to Find Crane Inspectors

Generally, it’s a good idea to get referrals from other crane operators. If somebody is happy with who they’re working with, it’s a good indication you have a trustworthy option.

If you’re located in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, or Maryland, Atlantic Crane Inspection Services is available to help. We service each of these states and have decades of experience in crane inspection and worker training.

Contact us to see how we can help you.

Have you ever wondered how the skyscraper your working in was built?

New heights are possible now with updated tower cranes and their technology

You see tower cranes every time you drive around. These massive structures that help build other massive structures are impossible to miss. They inspire both awe as to how something that tall are constructed and fear that they might tip over at any moment.

When you take a moment to really look at them and how they operate, you are left with more questions than answers.

How can these structures be so thin yet able to pick up those weights? It’s the same type of amazement you feel watching a 100 lb woman lift a ridiculously heavy barbell in Olympic weightlifting.

And how do these things ‘grow’ like vines sprouting out of a block in Super Mario? If your curiosity is killing you, this article will shed light on these questions.

Tower Crane Inspection

Breaking the Tower Crane into Parts

To understand how these monstrosities work, let’s look at the important parts.

  1. The construction crew prepares a concrete pad weeks in advance to serve as the foundation for the crane. The pad typically measures 30 feet by 30 feet and four feet in depth. The weight is about 400,000 pounds.
  2. The base is bolted to the concrete pad.
  3. The mast is the tower-like structure that gives the tower crane its height. It is secured above the base. It is made up of sections that are stacked on top of each other and bolted together. Each section usually measures 8 feet by 8 feet and twenty feet high.
  4. At the top of the mast is the slewing unit. This houses the gears and motor that allow the ‘arms’ of the crane to rotate.
  5. Tower cranes stand like a person extending both arms to the sides, with one arm longer than the other. Both arms are part of the slewing unit. The shorter horizontal arm is called the machinery armwhich contains the motor, gears, and electronics of the crane. It also carries the counterweights.
  6. The jib is the longer horizontal arm. It is also called the working arm because it is the one that bears the load. It has a trolley that can move the load from the crane’s center to the outer segment back and forth.
  7. The third part of the slewing unit is the operator’s cab. This is the ‘cockpit’ where the pilot controls the movements of the crane like a giant mecha robot. Tower crane operators require extensive training.

Don’t Sway

A tower crane looks a lot like a toddler’s building blocks. You can stack blocks on top of one another and watch the tower grow. But there will come a point where just breathing on it will cause the whole structure to crash.

How does the tower crane avoid the fate of its little counterpart?

There are several differences between a tower crane and a tower block. The first factor that gives the crane stability is the strong base of support. The whole thing is essentially fixed to the ground due to the base being anchored to the heavy concrete pad.

The mast of a tower crane has sections much like the building blocks of a block tower. The difference is that the construction crew attaches the sections together with heavy-duty steel bolts. The mast itself has a lattice structure that contributes to its strength and stability.

A Balancing Act

 

The two arms of the tower crane are like a balance scale or a seesaw. In essence, it is a lever simple machine with the fulcrum in the middle.

Because the jib or working arm is longer, it has a mechanical advantage over the shorter machinery arm. This is why the machinery arm holds the heavy motor, gears, and additional concrete counterweights.

A free-standing tower crane is actually slightly off-balanced in favor of the machinery arm. The strong base foundation handles the additional stress. Adding load to the working arm and adjusting the distance of the trolley from the center put the crane into a balanced state.

From this, you can surmise how important load testing these machines are. The safety and stability of the whole structure depend on how carefully the weights are balanced. This is also the reason why electronic sensors are present to prevent overloading.

 

Tower Cranes Soaring into the Sky

 

How do tower cranes grow to gargantuan heights? The method is actually an ingenious one that uses various applications of physics.

Mast sections are added or rather inserted into a tower crane. A climber or climbing frame surrounds the section just below the slewing unit.

Here are the steps that pull off this feat.

  1. The construction crew loads a weight on the jib. This is important because of the next step.
  2. The crew then detaches the slewing unit which consists of the two arms and the operator cab. Remember when we said that a free-standing tower crane slightly favors the machinery arm? If weight is not hanged from the jib as a counterbalance, the slewing unit will tip over to the side of the machinery arm.
  3. The climbing frame will then lift the slewing unit using hydraulic rams, pushing it upwards a distance slightly above twenty feet.
  4. The mast section to be inserted is picked up by the crane. The crew then attaches the twenty-foot section into the gap created by the climber.
  5. Congratulations, the tower crane is now twenty feet higher. Repeat as needed.

 

Some Numbers

So what can these bad boys do? Here are some specifications of your average tower crane.

  1. The maximum unsupported height is about 265 feet. To achieve heights greater than 265 feet, the crane needs to be fastened to the building with steel collars.
  2. The maximum reach is 230 feet.
  3. How much weight can it handle? Tower cranes are typically rated for weights of 18 metric tons or 39690 pounds. This maximum weight can only be safely carried by positioning the trolley as close to the center as possible.
  4. The counterweights on the machinery arm weigh about 20 tons or 40000 pounds.

 

The Importance of Knowledge and Training

 

Tower cranes are wonders of engineering that require extensive training to operate. We discussed the importance of the load chart and this is part of the curriculum that we offer.

Contact us now. We are happy to provide answers to your questions and any additional information you may need.