3 Common Mobile Crane Hazards (And How To Prevent Them)

 In Helpful Crane Info

Mobile cranes have revolutionised the construction industry making it quicker and easier than ever to complete large scale projects. However, operating heavy machinery comes with a range of potential health and safety hazards that can cause property damage, worker injury, and even fatalities without adequate training and planning.

There are three main categories that all mobile crane lift hazards fit into electrical, falling and overloading.


Electrical Hazards

Electrical crane hazards

Around half of all crane accidents can be attributed to coming into contact with a power source of some kind. One small mistake or miscalculation when operating a crane near energised power lines can cause a disastrous accident.

Although electrical hazards are the most likely of the three hazard types to cause accidents, they are also one of the easiest to prevent against. In fact, almost every crane accident caused by electrical hazards could have been prevented with proper planning.

In order to reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring due to overhead electrical hazards, it is important to begin planning the crane lift, including safety aspects, before the crane arrives on site. All potential hazards within a three metre radius of where the lift will take place should be marked with a clear visual cue (eg. fencing, barriers, taping).

It is also important to contact the energy company and let them know to ground or de-energize the power lines in close proximity to where the lift will take place. However, until the energy company advises that the lines have been de-energised, crane operators should always assume that the lines are live and extremely dangerous.


Falling Hazards

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The very nature of a crane lift is that the object being lifted is too heavy to maneuver in any other way. This makes falling materials during a crane lift extremely dangerous as not only is the object falling from a great height, it is also likely to be extremely heavy. This means that materials falling from a crane lift can cause a lot of damage, both to nearby workers and pedestrians, as well as the surrounding property.

There are two main things that can be done to minimise the risk of falling objects during a crane lift:

1) Regular Maintenance And Inspection Of Equipment

Every crane operator should make daily inspections of his equipment to avoid potential mechanical malfunctions before any lift occurs. Additionally, regular maintenance should be conducted to ensure that the crane is in good working condition. It is also essential that any equipment identified to be damaged or malfunctioning is removed from use until it is repaired or replaced.

2) Up To Date Training For Operators

Besides equipment failure, the other main cause of falling materials in a crane lift is improperly secured loads. This can be prevented by providing comprehensive and up to date training for all operators. Additionally, the area in which the lift will occur should be marked to ensure that workers are not walking beneath an overhead load.


Overloading Hazards

common crane hazards

Overloading a crane can cause a serious accident resulting in worker injury and property damage. In most cases, overloading can be prevented through proper preparation and training. For example, one main cause for overloading is the inappropriate operation of the crane (eg. swinging too fast or suddenly dropping the load). This can be prevented by ensuring that all operators are aware of the capabilities and limits of the crane before operating it.

Another cause of overloading is lifting a load heavier than the crane’s maximum weight load capacity. This can be prevented by ensuring that all operators are familiar with crane load charts and the individual crane’s lifting capacity.

Finally, overloading can also be caused by equipment failure due to faulty components. This is yet another reason why daily equipment inspections should be conducted and regular maintenance schedules should be upheld.


If you’re looking for a crane hire company you can rely on, call Mighty Cranes. We offer quality crane hire Brisbane wide where safety is the number one priority. Each of our operators is fully trained, licensed and insured to make sure that your next lift is completed on time, on budget, and as safely as possible.

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