Ensure Safety During Tower Crane Operation to Avoid Accidents

A crane is a machine that used to lift heavy loads, most often to move heavy materials on a construction site. A fixed crane has a greater weight capacity and can lift loads much higher because it does not have the mobility of other types of cranes. One type of fixed crane is the tower crane. A tower crane is basically a balance crane in its modern form. Tower cranes typically provide the most usefulness due to their combination of lifting capacity and height, thus making them a must have when constructing tall buildings.

However, with this great power of the tower crane also comes a great potential danger. When using such a crane on a construction site, or any other type of site, and a load drops from it, it is almost impossible to stop the load from hitting the ground or anyone in its path. It’s also quite difficult to issue a warning to workers below to move out of the way. Such an accident can lead to very serious injury or death. Approximately 90% of accidents involving cranes are the result of human error. As such, it is essential to fully and properly train all crane operators and institute on site safety regulations and preparation. Simply by ensuring that workers who are operating cranes on the job are fully educated in their safe operation, most potential crane accidents can be avoided.

Before even commencing the operation of a tower crane, it is important that the operator fully assess its characteristics, such as the weight of the crane, the host rope’s rating for the load, how is the load being attached and is it being done properly. These are examples are the many different assessments an operator must take into consideration to make sure the crane is safe for operation.

The operation of a tower crane does not solely involve the one who is at the controls of this machine. There is also a “rigger” or “swamper”, who is, in essence, a signaler to the operator. The operator and the rigger stay in contact through a radio and also use hand signals. The rigger assists in the hooking and unhooking of loads. This person is in charge of the schedule for lifting of the crane as well as the safety of rigging and the loads. It is important that the rigger and the operator work well together to ensure the safety of all workers on the site. If one or the other are not paying close attention, disaster could strike leading to a potentially catastrophic accident.

Because a tower crane related accident could result in serious bodily injury or even death, human error must be eliminated as much as possible. Most of these accents happen due to poor judgment, overconfidence, or simply lack of attention. Before operating this machinery, you must be physically as well as mentally prepared to take on this task. If you are on any medication, make sure that it is safe for you to operate the crane while taking it. It is also important to wear protective clothing and safety gear, such as safety glasses, a hard hat, and steel-toed shoes. Remove all distractions and if you need to address something, take a break and address it at that time.