Hiring a Crane? Four Essential Tips to Keep You Safe

Posted on: 18 June 2015


If you are hiring a crane for a large job, safety needs to be your number one concern. A reputable hiring company makes sure the crane you hire is safe, and they may even give you instructions on safe operating. However, you should also keep these safety tips in mind:

1. Inspect the Crane

Before and while using your hired crane, inspect all of its elements to ensure it can safely hold loads without injuring you or any of your workers.

Make sure none of the hydraulic parts are leaking or deteriorating, and look over the hooks and hoist chains for wearing, cracking or twisting. All of this should be checked daily, but if you hire the crane for over a month, you should also check the running ropes for wear or broken fibers after every thirty days of use.

2. Operate the crane following the manufacturer's recommendations

While loading the crane, make sure you use the hook as well as slings or other approved weight-bearing devices. Make sure the load is balanced and none of the elements supporting it are twisted. Lift slowly to avoid excess swinging.

3. Use standard hand signals

So the person near the hook and the person in the cab can communicate clearly and efficiently, make sure you and all of the workers involved understand standard hand signals for moving cranes.

Circling your forefinger pointed upward indicates hoisting, while circling that finger in a downward direction means lower the crane. Also, make sure you have agreed upon hand signals for different directions, trolleys, slowing down and stopping.

In case of emergencies, the person on the ground should use an arms wide signal to indicate the need for an emergency stop. If the magnet comes disconnected, the person in the cab should stand and spread both arms to the side with his or her palms up.

4. Have insurance in place

Lest a tragedy happens and someone is hurt while using the crane, you should have insurance in place. If the equipment hiring company offers injury insurance, book it. Also, make sure you are well informed about what types of insurance you need to cover your workers.

If you have independent contractors working with you, in most cases, they need to supply their own coverage for workman's comp in case of energy. However, you need to make sure they are truly defined as contractors. If they function like employees, you may ultimately be held responsible for their workman's compensation if they make a claim.

Contact a company like Warringah Crane & Transport to learn more.