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Crane Risk and Loss Root Causes: Falling Objects

Falling object

Objects falling from the load, or dropped during crane assembly and disassembly operations create a potentially lethal job site hazard. In many cases, the load simply has not been rigged, secured and balanced properly, causing material contained within the load to shift and fall. During assembly or disassembly operations, personnel involved in the operation should take precaution to ensure that all tools, hardware and equipment are properly secured to prevent dropping them. Proper traffic control seriously reduces the chance of objects landing on anyone by restricting access to the hazardous zone and establishing a working area for the crane operator. Signalpersons should take care to direct the crane operator only within the specified work area, and riggers should take extra precaution to secure loads of bundled or aggregate materials.

Even small pieces of steel or hardware dropped from several stories gain velocity as they fall and will land with lethal force if a person is struck, causing paralysis, amputation, blindness and fatal injury.  Under ANSI B30.5 subpart c, and the OSHA 2010 guidelines, the operator is not responsible for conditions not under his direct control. The site designated Lift Director should address all concerns for properly rigging and securing the load, and communicate appropriate procedures to the qualified signalperson and riggers involved in the lifting operation. Set up signs or barricades as necessary to prevent pedestrians from accessing a dangerous area, and build overhead protection as each entrance or exit from the structure to prevent injury from falling tools and materials.

Thorough site preparation, proper planning and good communication between crew members always makes for a safe lift!

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