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Based on: OSHA 29 CFR 1910.179 – Overhead and Gantry Cranes American National Standards Institute (ANSI) best practices American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) best practices

Languages: Available in 4 languages

Sample Transcript

An experienced operator moves the load smoothly. Keeping the load stable and under control is the top priority. Always take your time and move the crane with slow, smooth movements. Sudden movements of the crane either up and down or side to side can cause what is known as shock loading. Always avoid shock loading because it greatly increases stress on the crane and the rigging. Travel with the load as low to the floor as possible but make sure you can still clear any obstacles. Be sure that the slings or hoist lines don't become tangled or twisted while moving the load. When walking with the load, walk beside the load so that it can be easily seen. Do not walk ahead of the load. Tag lines are lines attached to the load. They may be used to better control the load while it's in motion. For long moves, stop periodically to make sure the load is stable and that the path is clear.

Overhead Crane Operational Safety

Training Time: 16 minutes

This training module gives workers an overview of the safe operating procedures for moving loads with floor-operated overhead industrial cranes. This course covers the dangers associated with lifting and moving a load with an overhead crane, as well as safe procedures that will avoid those dangers.

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“Excellent review for shop employees. A must to explain GHS to all employees”- Mike - 2266 US Highway 6, Coal Valley Illinois

3D render of never allowing anyone to ride a load when working near others.

When working near people, never allow anyone to ride on a load.

3D render of walking beside a load.

Always walk beside the load so that it can be easily seen.

3D render of stress levels causing sling arms to be at a low angle.

A one-ton load can produce several tons of stress on each sling arm at a low sling angle.

Learning Objectives

  • List the three things that must be verified before a lift
  • List the three things that factor into load capacity
  • Describe how the sling angle can affect rigging
  • Describe safe procedures for lifting, moving, and setting down a load
  • Describe guidelines for operating a crane near people
  • Describe guidelines for personal protective equipment when working around cranes
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Overhead Crane Operational Safety FAQs

Why is it important to operate a crane safely?
There is great potential for accidents, injuries, and deaths. Every year, crane-related accidents cause hundreds of injuries, dozens of deaths, and millions in property damage.

Are pre-operation inspections necessary?
Yes, inspect the crane, rigging, and work area before operating.

What is the load capacity?
The weight that the crane and rigging can lift safely.

Is the lifting capacity greater when the sling angle is higher or lower?
The lifting capacity is greater when the angle is close to 90 degrees, and is less when the sling angle is less (such as 15 degrees).

Is it important to beware of people when operating a crane?
Yes, always. Never operate a crane in a way that might put a person at risk of injury.

What is side loading?
Lifting a load from the side—this increase stress on the crane and shouldn’t be done.

What are tips for safe lifting?
Make sure the load is stable in rigging, make sure attachments are centered in hook bowl, that safety latches on hooks are closed, and never use the tip of a hook to lift a load.

What are tips for safely moving a load?
Move smoothly, keep load stable, avoid shock loading, keep load as close to floor as possible, be cautious so slings and hoist lines don’t get tangled or twisted, use tag lines, and stop periodically during long movements to make sure everything’s OK.

What are tips for safely putting down a load?
Come to a stop slowly, minimize swinging of load, make sure load is stable, and land the load fully.

What should you do if a crane or rigging appears to be overload?
Tell a supervisor and have a qualified person inspect it before trying to use it again.

What are typical members of a multi-person crane crew?
Crane operator, tag line holder, signal person, and rigger. It’s important that everyone knows their role clearly.

What type of PPE should one use?
Gloves, steel-toed shoes, hard hat, and other PPE circumstances call for, such as eye protection and hearing protection. Avoid wearing loose, dangling clothes or jewelry.

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