As an owner of a small construction business, you may come across projects which involve heavier loads or require higher access than you regularly encounter. You will then need to hire a crane to do the job. Because you are the business owner, it is your responsibility to work jointly with the hire company to ensure that your worksite is completely safe.
Before hiring your crane, take a minute to read this easy guide. By following the steps you will be in the best position to maintain a safe worksite and ensure that the project goes smoothly.
Choose the Right Company for Your Business
Since cranes are complex machines that are heavy and tricky to operate, you need to take time while choosing a hire company. You need to find one that knows the industry thoroughly. In particular, look for one that:
- has a wide selection of newer model cranes
- uses a full maintenance schedule for all equipment
- provides comprehensive training of the highest standard to the crane operators
- has the ability and patience to answer all your crane-related queries
A company that can offer these features along with ample industry experience will be able to match your needs with exactly the right machine.
Select the Right Crane for the Job
Do a little preparation so that you can to ask the company the right questions. For example, you can talk to them about:
- the type of materials you are working with
- how much weight you need to lift
- how often you will be using the crane
- the height that you need to reach
- the type of terrain you will be covering
- access to the worksite
The job may require any one of a variety of available crane models including mobile, side-lift, crawler, mini or rough terrain cranes. Fortunately, it is not necessary to know all the ins and outs of the different models because, with the right information, the company can select the crane that suits the environment and fits within your budget.
Check the Crane Safety Features
As well as selecting the right crane for the job, you should ensure that the crane has sufficient safety features. Some things to look for include:
- access points such as footholds, ladders and grab rails
- ergonomic seats designed for comfort and back support
- good visibility features including window design and mirrors
- comfortable environment control and temperature management
These features help protect the operator as they work and also reduce the risk of workplace injuries
Always Be Aware of the Environment
Once you have hired the right crane and begin working on the project, it is very important to be constantly vigilant about operating the crane safely. There needs to be a person responsible for overseeing the crane's use at all times. it is also necessary to take note of the weather conditions. For example, avoid operating in high winds or heavy rain.
Extra precautions are also needed to avoid hazards in the area, such as electricity poles and underground lines.
When operating in a confined space, it is advisable to have a person specifically designated as a spotter who can give directions to the operator. This will avoid any collisions with adjoining buildings and structures.
Have an Emergency Plan
Any company that uses cranes should have an emergency plan in place in the event of a problem occurring. All employees need to be trained in emergency procedures. You need to create a plan and then test it out in your workplace. The plan should include the details about evacuation routes for all workers and crane operators. Emergency equipment should be in easily accessible places.
Taking a little extra time to have these procedures in place is completely worth the peace of mind in knowing that your workplace is as safe as you can possibly make it.