12 Jul Crane Operations
Working Under The Load
When you think about it, the human body is totally out-matched when it tries to go against a load being lifted by a crane. Think of the dangers for a moment. First, the load is being lifted by a mechanical device operated by a human being. We know that both are subject to limitations and failures. Something can go wrong despite our best intentions. Loads can be heavy, difficult to rig, and are subject to unexpected movement. There is only one sure way to avoid injury, stay clear of the load!
Crane movements should always be considered prior to set up. Every effort should be made to avoid having to move the load over the work area. If this cannot be done, work should be temporarily halted and the area cleared while the pick is taking place.
Be aware of what is happening around you and above you.
Others may not be as conscientious as they should. An operator may not even think of the danger of moving a load over your head. If you see a load coming, get out of the way. Don’t forget to look out for your buddy also.
Riggers and others may have to work near a suspended load in order to guide it into position. The use of tag lines can help keep you out of harm’s way. The tag line will put distance between yourself and the load in the event the load shifts or moves unexpectedly. Tag lines can help keep a load under control but remember, your weight is no match against a load that has started to swing or spin and develop momentum. Let it settle down on its own.
When tending tag lines, never loop the line around your hand, arm, or body. This could cause you to be dragged along with the load. Wear gloves. This helps you avoid rope burn.
Lastly, be sure if you are guiding a load with a tag line that your travel path is clear and safe before the load is suspended. You will be spending a lot of time watching the load, rather than where you are going. It would be a shame to take all of the precautions to avoid being caught by the load, only to be injured in a fall.