As Mobile Crane Operators, we are in command of a multi million-dollar machine that are regularly making multi-million dollar lifts. Not only are we expected to know the best way to execute the lift, but also the safest way. In the ever-changing world of mobile crane operations, it is more important than ever to stay up-to-date with the regulations as well as best practices. Here are 10 tips you can use to help ensure success:
1. Never override the mobile crane’s computer.
2. Be aware of all overhead hazards – specifically close-by buildings and any power lines that are within the zone of operation.
3. Read the load charts – prior to turning the key in any new mobile crane.
4. Cell phones in the cab – while the crane’s key is on the cell phone is off.
5. Always note the changing conditions on the jobsite – from personnel to weather to surroundings.
6. Sometimes in a working situation, the crane operator needs to stop, evaluate, and find a safer lift plan.
7. Check ground conditions – before crane setup, ensure that the site is suitable to support your mobile crane and the future suspended loads.
8. Use appropriate pads & cribbing – mobile crane operators need to make sure they are using correct pads or cribbing to avoid having an outrigger fail or sink when they are making a lift.
9. Before starting your crane, always double check the oil, gas, and other fluid levels.
10. At the beginning of your shift, walk-around your crane checking for mechanical, electrical, structural, and hydraulic issues (MESH).
Mobile crane operators are a small brotherhood whose main goal is to ensure the safety of those we are working with. If we can avoid a few simple operating errors, it will go a long way in avoiding an incident on the job site.