3 Safety Checks To Perform Each Time You Operate An Overhead Crane

29 June 2017
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Articles


When you are fairly new to operating the overhead crane at your factory, you may still be apprehensive about working the equipment, concerned about something going wrong that could hurt someone or cause serious damage. If so, ease your nervousness about safety by performing the following three safety checks each time your operate the industrial crane.

Inspect the Hoist Cable for Fraying

Whenever a cargo load is attached and lifted by the crane, the hoist cable undergoes stress from the weight and movement of the load. Eventually, this could cause the smaller metal wires that make up the cable to become bent and broken. 

This damage leads to fraying that could weaken the cable. If a load is heavy and shifts suddenly when a cable is damaged, the wires could break, bringing the load crashing down to the ground.

While attaching a load to the cable, visually inspect it for signs of fraying. If you are unable to determine whether an area is damaged, run your gloved hand over the cable to see if any of the wires feel out of place. 

If so, check to see if the damage extends far into the cable. If you feel it is frayed too much for safe use, change the cable before attempting to load and transport any cargo.

Examine the Hook for Signs of Damage

While you are inspecting the cable for fraying, examine the hook for any signs of damage. Since the hook bears the brunt of the load's weight and is responsible for keeping the cargo secure and steady, it could become bent or cracked over time.

Hold the hook out directly in front of you, and rotate it so you can view all angles of it. If the metal appears warped or there is a gap between the hook and the latch, you should switch it out with a compatible hook.

Once you have examined the hook for bends, look closer at the metal for any cracks. These cracks are usually caused by weight and movement that puts stress on the metal. This stress then fractures the metal.

If you see these stress fractures, do not use the crane until the hook is replaced. The metal could snap at any time, creating a potentially deadly situation if the load were to fall on someone . However, the danger of hurting someone can be avoided by performing the check discussed in the next section.

Make Sure Nobody Is Under the Crane

Before you start the crane to move the load, always make sure there is no one under the crane's path. Even if you are certain that the crane is working perfectly, you should never transport loads over anyone working on the floor.

You never know when something may break or the load may shift. Even slight shifts in a load's weight could loosen it from the crane's hook, making the cargo fall and potentially hurting anyone underneath.

After hooking the cargo load to the crane, visualize or walk the path below where you will be moving the load. Let everyone in the area know that you will be operating the overhead crane, and tell them to keep away. If your factory has a buzzer or other audible signal that the crane is in operation, make sure you use it.

Performing the above safety checks before you operate the overhead crane can help prevent injury and property damage. If you have further questions about your specific crane's model, contact the service from which the factory bought the industrial crane to ask about any additional safety features and recommended operational procedures.