Don’t Be In Over Your Head: How To Avoid Safety Hazards With Overhead Cranes

As you know, overhead cranes are used in many businesses where there are extremely heavy loads to lift. Not only do these cranes make lifting easier, but they allow more floor space to be free for other manufacturing needs. While overhead cranes can make certain aspects of manufacturing easier, they also create a lot of safety hazards if they're not used properly. Knowing the most common safety hazards and how to avoid them can help you utilize the overhead crane more efficiently and ensure everybody's safety.

Power Lines

Power lines are responsible for some of the most common safety hazards that occur with overhead cranes. When a live power line comes into contact with the crane, there is a clear risk of electrocution, and not just for the person touching the crane. Everybody in proximity of the machine is at risk for injury when there is an electrical emergency. While this type of safety hazard might seem like an easy thing to avoid, it occurs more often than you think because of poor planning. Before any work begins, danger zones should be outlined on the floor with tape or some type of barrier; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that any area that is within a 10 foot radius of a live power line is a danger zone.

Irregular Maintenance

Because of the heavy loads that overhead cranes carry, they require regular maintenance to maintain their safety. One part of the crane that needs to be maintained and constantly tested is the hoist. The hoist is responsible for lifting the heavy loads, so it sustains a lot of wear and tear and can become damaged easily. If the hoist is damaged, it can cause heavy loads to drop, which can cause injury and even death to workers in the area. Daily inspections of the hoist and the crane as a whole can easily prevent safety hazards that are caused by irregular maintenance.

Too Much Weight

Even though overhead cranes are designed to carry heavy loads, they still have a maximum weight capacity. When that maximum capacity is exceeded, heavy loads can swing, descend too quickly, or drop completely to the ground; this puts the lives of any workers in this area in danger. Fortunately, this safety hazard is avoidable with the right training. Anyone operating an overhead crane or working in the area should be trained to weigh every load on the proper measuring system and be aware of the weight capacity of the crane.

Taking safety precautions will not only ensure the safety of the workers operating the crane, but it will also help manufacturing operations run smoothly. For further assistance, contact a local overhead crane manufacturer, such as