Cranes are powerful pieces of equipment. They are also potential hazards. Cranes themselves, and the loads they carry, can have disastrous consequences when improperly handled. Here at BOSS Cranes we take safety very seriously, so we have compiled a list of overhead crane safety tips to share. 

Not only do crane operators need the proper training, but all workers need to be trained on crane hazards. No one should ever forget the safety hazards that move overhead.

Keep reading to see BOSS Crane’s top overhead crane safety tips. 

Tip #1 — Select The Right Crane For The Job

Safe crane operation begins with selecting the proper crane for the job. There are many different types of cranes, and you need to take many factors into consideration as you make your selection. You have to think about the actual job itself, and the terrain the crane will be working in. 

Tip #2 — Qualified Personnel Only

The safe operation of cranes is imperative at all times. Only certified, qualified, and people who have been trained to to set up, rig, signal, and operation a crane can do so

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations in place that state only trained, certified, and properly evaluated individuals may operate cranes on job sites. Make sure to adhere to all regulations to be certain that qualified personnel are being used to operate cranes at all times.

overhead crane safety tips 

Tip #3 — Know Your Limits

Load limits, that is. Operators must know the load capacity of their crane and loads that exceed the limits of the crane should not be moved.

Although nowadays many overhead cranes include load indicators, it’s still good practice to know how to read a load chart. Load charts are the most essential tool for planning a safe lift and preventing crane failure or tip over, and you always adhere to the weight limits of the chart. 

When reading a load chart to determine if a lift is safe, also bear in mind:

  • Rubber Vs. Outriggers: a crane can hold more weight on outriggers rather than tires
  • Rotation: a crane holds more weight if the boom stays over the front of the crane throughout the lift
  • Load Radius: The higher the load radius, the less weight the crane can lift.

And remember — load charts typically don’t cover every single radius. Therefore, you will need to refer to the next highest radius to ensure that you stay within safe limits.

overhead crane safety tips 

Tip #4 — Rig Right

Properly rigging your load is essential to safety. The load rigging requirements need special attention; loads that cannot be safely rigged should not be lifted.

Anything not rigged properly is at risk of causing an accident and causing an injury, or worse. When putting a lift plan together, best practice is to always determine the best type of lifting sling and the type hitch you’re going to use prior to rigging the load.

When attaching a sling, you need to consider the object being lifted as well as its weight distribution. There are many hitch configurations, so choose the one that is the safest for your load. 

There are three basic hitches used with a crane: 

  • Straight, or vertical 
  • Choker
  • Basket

The angle of the sling is another important consideration to account for in rigging. If an angle other than vertical will be used, additional force is put on the slings and this reduces their weight capacity. It’s vital to your lift that the slings have the correct rating for the weight of the lift as well as the weight of the angle.

You’ve Found Safety And Expertise With BOSS Cranes

We are adamant about our overhead crane safety tips, and safety is our #1 priority. There is a reason why BOSS Crane has been serving Texas for over 80 years. We rent equipment to a variety of industries and ensure the job is done well and in compliance with OSHA requirements. 

To learn more about BOSS Cranes and our equipment, see our previous blog:  The 8 Parts Of A Crane And Their Function