Crane safety is applicable to everyone and anyone operating a crane or working around it.

According to Wikipedia,

“A crane is a type of machine, generally equipped with a hoist rope, wire ropes or chains, and sheaves, that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. It is mainly used for lifting heavy things and transporting them to other places.” Wikipedia

Crane safety should be adopted whenever the crane is in use.

However, this article aims to highlight key crane safety tips we should always adopt anytime we are working with the crane (Mobile or tower crane) or working around cranes.

Before we get to the safety tips, lets discuss the major crane hazards.

Major crane hazards

Three (3) major hazards are often associated with cranes, and they include:

  • Electrical hazards: This occurs when any part of the crane makes contact with a power line. Most often, that part of the crane is the crane boom. This can result to electrocution and fire breakout.
  • Overloading, and materials: This occurs when the crane is made to carry a load which is beyond its design capacity. This could cause the crane to turn-over.
  • Falling/slipping from overhead hoists: This occurs mostly when an unsecured load is lifted with the crane. The load could slip away or fall off; this will definitely pose a serious risk to the people on ground if proper segregation was not done.

The above mentioned crane hazards are the major causes of most crane accidents. Managing this hazards is key to preventing all form of crane accidents.

Lets now get into the crane safety tips.

See crane safety video by OSHA – Watch Now

11 Important crane safety tips

Starting from the crane hazards:

  1. Always keep a safe clearance level for cranes when working around power lines.
  2. Never overload the crane. Always match the weight of the load to the crane capacity; know the crane safe working load -SWL.
  3. Ensure that all loads are properly secured before lifting. This can be ensured during the rigging process.
  4. Cranes with its accessories should be inspected always before use. What to inspect includes – Lifting accessories, wedge socket, boom, fluid, sheaves, tyres, etc, where applicable.
  5. For mobile cranes, make sure the it is stationed on a level ground and the outrigger base packed to prevent it from sinking into the soil if it’s stationed on a natural ground.
  6. The mobile crane outrigger must always be fully extended to ensure stability.
  7. Always consider the boom angle and boom length of your mobile crane to be able to ascertain adequate safe working load.
  8. Cranes must always be operated by a trained and competent person.
  9. Crane working area and the swing radius must always be cordon off to prevent unauthorized entry.
  10. A trained and competent signal man should be on ground to ensure a smooth communication with the crane operator through out every job involving a crane. He should understand the crane hand signal.
  11. Depending on the complexity of the lifting operation, a lifting plan may be put in place with a lifting checklist. This will guide the safe completion of the lifting operation.


See addition information here

OSHA Crane, Derrick and Hoist Safety – Here

Overhead Crane Safety, 29 CFR 1910.179 – Here

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By Ubong Edet

A passionate Health and Safety professional with a good level of field experience and relevant certifications including NEBOSH, OSHA, ISO, etc certifications. An Health and Safety activist who believes in the growth and continual improvement of the profession. He is going all out to create awareness and safe precious lives.

14 thoughts on “11 Important crane safety tips”
  1. Thank you Mr Ubong Edet for this selfless contribution to ensuring that someone like me steps up to being a professional in health and safety.

  2. I like what you said about making sure that your crane is stationed on level ground. My boss has been telling me about a new facility that he wants to get built in the coming year. I’ll share this informant with him sot hat he knows how to safely position any cranes that he sues.

  3. It’s good to know that you should always acknowledge your crane’s weight capacity to avoid overloading it. My uncle wants to become a home builder and needs a way to construct heavy walls by himself since he doesn’t plan on hiring anyone until he completes his first project. I’ll let him know that he needs to be careful about the loads that he handles when operating a crane.

  4. My husband told me that we should have our air conditioner unit installed at the flat roof of our house, but I told him that the door leading there is too narrow for such a big unit. Perhaps I can hire someone to lift it all the way up there using a crane. Thanks for educating me that I should make sure that they know how to maintain a safe clearance level when they’re working around power lines, so I’ll be sure to ask those that I’ll hire about that.

  5. I’m glad you mentioned that mobile cranes need to be on level ground before they’re used. My brother is looking for a mobile crane hire service to help transport the materials on the construction site of his project. I’ll suggest that he asks potential crane services about how they ensure level ground to help him find a knowledgeable company!

  6. It’s good to know that cranes and their accessories should always be inspected before being used. My boss has been telling me about a new facility that he wants to get built in the coming year. I’ll share this information with him so that he can look into his options for professionals who can help him inspect the cranes.

  7. Ah, it’s good to know that a mobile crane’s outrigger should always be fully extended when in use. A buddy of mine is hoping to get some heavy rocks moved on his property. I think he might need to hire somebody to come by and move them with a crane.

  8. I love that you talked about mobile cranes and how it should be on the mobile ground so that it doesn’t tip over. My husband and his company are looking for a 25-tonne franna crane that can help them with a few of their construction jobs. They will keep these tips in mind as they search for a professional that can help them best.

  9. You made a good point when you shared that it is important to hire a reliable person who is trained and competent to work with the crane operator. This will ensure that there is smooth communication between them so the work can be done accordingly. I would like to think if a company is working on a construction project, it should consider getting the right crane from a reliable supplier and make sure to hire the experts who are experienced to work with the equipment.

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