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.
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, 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.
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.
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.