Common Oversights with Jib Cranes
There are three basic components to the safe use of a jib crane: a safe hoist, a safe load, and a safe operator. To meet all three conditions, you need a crane that is in good condition with a solid footing. You also need to make sure the load you are attempting to lift is being lifted correctly and does not exceed the capabilities and capacities of the crane. Finally, you need a well-qualified, well rested, sober, and responsible operator who understands the workplace and the task at hand. Once you have all three of these requirements for a safe lift in place, you are ready to run your crane.
However, while we may go down our safety and maintenance checklists every day, one great danger is that many operators lack knowledge from the start. An operator may get a brief time with an experienced operator to show how it works and the rest is on-the-job experience. Some are errors that even the most responsible and experienced crane maintenance and operation crews can fall victim to, as well.
One of the biggest dangers is the lack of training and knowledge of the crane’s capabilities, limitations, safe use, and many other factors. This foundation comes from a solid training program including classroom training, hands-on training, and continued monitoring from an experienced operator.
Exceeding Hoist Load
Overloading a jib crane is an easy mistake to avoid. Many operators are not aware of the weight of the load, the capacity of the lifting devices, and other factors such as the method of rigging and center of gravity, which factors into load failures. However, both inexperience and overconfidence can lead operators to overload their cranes. Overloading a crane can be a major temptation toward the end of the day or a long job when you want to get the job done and go home. But doing so can cause dangerous failures.
“Old Reliable” Syndrome
“Old Reliable” syndrome is a danger in any industry where heavy machinery is in regular use, it is especially dangerous when operating cranes. When an operator has been working with a single machine for a considerable amount of time, they may feel that his crane and his skills are infallible. This cavalier attitude leads to misuse, overloading, and maintenance oversights which can lead to serious failure.
Too Expert to Read
Similar to “Old Reliable” Syndrome, veteran crane operators who have worked with many cranes over many years often think they do not need to read the safety manuals for new cranes. New cranes often come with new configurations and technologies that need specific forms of regular maintenance. Not reading the manual can cause you to overlook an import maintenance step.
Lack of Inspection
Daily inspection of a crane, including operating mechanisms, deterioration, load hooks, hoist chains, functional operating mechanisms, and rope reeving are vital. These are the items which must be inspected daily. A failure of any could result in a serious incident. The load chain or wire rope is only one of the critical components.
Daily load chain or wire rope inspection is among the most important parts of maintaining the safe operating condition of your jib crane. Load chain or wire ropes must be visually inspected in addition to a monthly documented inspection. Overlooking jib crane chain inspection is a common hazard on many work sites.
Despite the necessary daily inspections, some of the frequently overlooked safety needs are preventative maintenance and annual inspections. The level of service should be considered when scheduling maintenance, so if the crane is heavily used, then there should be more frequent inspections. However, the absolute minimum for these cranes should include a daily, monthly, and yearly inspection along with preventive maintenance.
Years of experience and accident-free operation can’t guarantee that these mistakes won’t happen. The only guard against dangerous situations is regular training, consistent and thorough inspections and maintenance, and constant vigilance.
Advanced Safety & Health offers a wide range of industrial safety services including:
- Safety Consultants
- EVAC and Emergency Plans
- Safety Management
- Industrial Hygiene
- Expert Witness Services
- Training and Education
We can come in and assess your workplace needs or dangers, provide recommendations, help create a plan for the future, and even set up or teach safety training.