Minimising the risk when lifting heavy loads

There are many health and safety risks that can come into play when using lifting equipment around people. The management or entity which is responsible for controlling the use of the crane at a workplace and there are many things that need to addressed to manage and minimise any risk when lifting loads.

Austwide Cranes and Chains explain some of the risks and areas that need to be addressed to ensure safe lifting in our latest blog post.

What causes unsafe lifting situations?

  • Damaged lifting gear, slings and hoists or gear that is inadequate for the job.
  • Overloading the crane
  • Loads that are dropped or poorly secured.

It’s essential that different approaches are taken to address these three areas.

Limiting and indicating devices

Limiting devices are used to prevent a specific motion of the crane before it moves into an unsafe location or position.  They will be engaged to physically limit the crane moving into an unsafe situation.

Indicating devices work to send a warning sound to alert only of the potential of a crane approaching its set limit or another unsafe situation, but require the intervention of the operator.

These safety devices are used to improve safety for the crane operator and others, but shouldn’t be relied upon and replace the load chart or specific operating instructions of the equipment.

Lifting Gear

Lifting gear should be checked before EVERY use and inspected more thoroughly to determine it’s ongoing suitability. Lifting gear should be tagged with listed information including the grade of the chain, the rated capacity, and relevant Australian marking. Hooks should have safety latches, and eyes and inserts are compatible. Slings need to be free from damage, corrosion, cracks, fraying or damaged strands. The sling also needs to be appropriate for loads that are lifted including the right sling for the right capacity and should offer protection from sharp edges.

All lifting gear should be inspected regularly, but for synthetic and fibre sling should be every 3 months. For loads in synthetic slings protective sleeves and corner pieces are recommended even if the edges of the load don’t appear sharp the sling can be damaged when under tension. All inspections should be recorded with the date.

Crane Overload

Cranes should never be overloaded and the marked loads should be checked to see that they are not in excess of the cranes rated capacity.

Reducing the risk of falling objects

Ideally loads should not travel over public areas like roads, highways footpaths and other buildings should be avoided. If this is not possible exclusion zones should be enforced to stop people entering the area.

Austwide Cranes and Chains can provide the right advice to ensure your  lifting equipment is in good working order and safe to use while providing on site guidance to reduce risk of operating the crane in the area that you are working.

Call us on (07) 3823 5880 for inspections, recertification, compliances and all related crane services in Brisbane.