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Top Safety Considerations When Operating an Overhead Crane

Overhead cranes are an indispensable part of many cargo and warehousing operations, but they can also be a significant source of danger for both operators as well as nearby workers.  There's a lot of potential for things to go wrong.  In our own work providing and installing overhead crane parts, we've seen a lot of accidents waiting to happen - and we'd like to help ensure they don't.

If there's an overhead crane in your own facilities, some safety awareness can do a lot to reduce the chance of potentially-deadly accidents.

Keys to Safety When Operating Overhead Cranes

  1. The Golden Rule: Never allow a load to swing over someone's head.  This should be accomplished by a combination of training your operators to be aware of their environment, as well as appropriate safety signage and/or barriers to keep other workers out of environments where the crane is being operated.

If no one is ever under your crane while it's in operation, the chances of crippling accident are vastly reduced.  

  1. Always be aware of capacity vs current load.

If you want to spot a crane operator who's truly engaged and aware of the scope of their work, look for those who are always mindful of the rated capacity of their crane and its current load weight.  You might be surprised at how few pass this simple test.

You can help encourage this awareness through better training of operators on the equipment, as well as clear communication of the weights of various loads.  And this is doubly important because:

  1. It's up to you to ensure weight limits are never exceeded.

While it's hard to believe, there are actually no legal regulations covering load limits on overhead cranes.  Despite hundreds of pages of relevant OSHA regs, this rule slipped through the cracks.  The best protection here is to install an overload protection circuit on wire rope hoists.  If the circuit detects weight exceeding the rated capacity of the crane, it shuts down the controls until the weight can be reduced.

  1. Know when it's time to modernize older equipment.

It's tempting to keep older cranes in service for extended periods, potentially even decades.  Solid steel construction means it will take a very long time for their framework to become truly unusable.  However, the same isn't true for many of the finer electronic or mechanical components.  You should be regularly surveying the equipment and looking for situations where new overhead crane parts are needed to keep the crane running properly.

ProserveCrane Has You Covered

ProserveCrane keeps a massive inventory of overhead crane parts ready to ship 24/7.  Contact us today to keep your cranes in top condition!