Cranes are a tool to help the worker save time and money while lifting or lowering heavy materials. Cranes, although being able to transport the material quicker than the workers, can also transport a weightier amount of materials. They are most used in construction for the movement of material and manufacturing in order to assemble heavy equipment. When installed and used adequately, cranes can increase manufacturing productivity, but misplaced cranes can cause severe work injuries.
Types of cranes
Mobile - There are four main types of mobile cranes.
• Truck-mounted: probably among the most used, truck-mounted cranes are robust enough to be used in any industry, such as agriculture, transportation, and construction.
• Rough terrain: single-engine machines designed for off-road pick-and-carry situations.
• Crawler: they provide stability and mobility while lifting from about 40 to 4,000 long tons. Also, it can operate with minimal improvement and still work correctly without any outriggers.
• Floating: primarily used in bridge building or port constructions, floating cranes have a lifting ability of more than 10,000 short tons.
Other mobile cranes include a reach stacker, all-terrain, pick and carry, side lifter, carry deck, harbor, travel lift, railroad, aerial, climbing Crane, and straddle carrier.
Fixed - Fixed cranes, as the name implies, are stuck to the ground and provide stable support alongside lifting and height capacity. It has multiple styles, such as:
• Ring Crane
• Tower Crane
• Self-erecting tower Crane
• Telescopic Crane
• Hammerhead Crane
• Level luffing Crane
• Overhead Crane
• Electric overhead traveling Crane
• Granty Crane
• Deck Crane
• Jib Crane
• Bulk-handling Crane
• Loader Crane
• Stacker Crane
• Block-setting Crane
Parts of Crane
Cranes are very important in the world of engineering, so every employer must know the function of the component of the machine.
•Hook: The Crane’s most recognizable part, the hook, is the connection point between the machine and the load.
•Outrigger: its main goal is to provide as much stability as possible, ensuring that the Crane remains standing even while transporting extremely heavy loads.
•Wheels and tracks: Offer mobility and allow cranes to move around the environment, even if the ground’s uneven.
•Boom: acts as the arm and allows the Crane to a heavier load as needed.
•Hoist: this is the crane part that allows the lifting of any item.
• Falling of material: Many things can derail load falling, such as visual impairment, slipping, and mechanical failure. If the shipment isn’t secured properly, it can slip and seriously injure workers (or damage the material).
• Hitting & crushing of a load to existing facilities
• Toppling of Crane
• High wind speed, Poor communication, and poor visibility
• Damage to underground utilities of the earth.
• Electrical issues
• Overload: around 80% of all crane structural disasters are caused by the excess of maximum capacity (according to OSHA).
• Excess of work/Lack of rest: OSHA estimates that one crane accident happens for every 10,000 os use. Most of them are due to human error, which increases when the worker is physically tired.
Lifting & Crane Safety precautions.
In order to prevent crane injuries, employers need to recognize specific hazards that happen during its utilization and how follow proper safety measures to avoid them as much as possible.
• Soil or ground condition shall be checked and should be leveled.
• Do not overload. Always lift up to SWL (safe working load). Conducting regular maintenance of hoists is a very effective way to prevent the risk of falling material. This way, multiple workers can test and therefore reach an accord, to see the maximum load the machine can safely carry. Note that it’s essential to be aware that the maximum weight varies according to other factors (e.g., wind, ground.)
• Use proper safety work clothes, such as head, foot, hand, and eye protection, both for the employer operating the cane and the workers below.
• Outrigger shall be fully extended and 1 meter away from maintenance holes and trenches.
• Make sure that all the load is perfectly secure to avoid slipping accidents, which are the leading cause of crane injuries.
• Conduct regular (daily according to OSHA) crane inspections to detect possible mechanical failures.
o In case any problem is detected during inspection or while working with the Crane, the operator should log out of the machine, warn his colleagues (especially the ones below and the superior) and wait for the problem to be resolved by a professional.
• Crane should have a reverse beep horn.