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MOBILE CRANE SAFETY
Over one third of the injuries during crane accidents are the result of workers standing or working under suspended loads or the loss of the load because of unsafe rigging, hooks, or slings.
Cables and fastenings should be looked at every day of operation and inspected at least weekly, more often toward the end of their useful life. The number of broken wires, the amount of wear of the outside wires, and evidence of corrosion are indications of its condition. If a 6 by 19 by 25 cable has six broken wires in one lay, that section of the rope is seriously weakened.
Hooks deteriorate from fatigue and from the bad practice of lifting a load on the point, which causes the hook to open or spread. When these conditions are found, the hook should be replaced. A swivel type of hook minimizes turning by a load during a lift. A safety hook has a latch which prevents a sling from coming off the hook.
Operating a crane on soft or sloping ground is dangerous. The crane should always be level before it is put into operation. Outriggers give reliable stability only when used on solid ground.
Overloading causes particularly serious accidents, such as overturning, collapse of the boom, and cable failure. Each manufacturer posts the safe loads for various boom angles in the cab. The load limits specified on capacity plates must never be exceeded; furthermore, other instructions should be strictly observed.
Before leaving the crane for any reason, the operator should set the brakes, block the wheels, lock the boom, and place the levers and controls in a neutral position.
Exert the utmost of care when operating a crane in the vicinity of the overhead wires regardless of the known voltage. If the crane must be operated near power lines, the power company should be consulted about permission and its safety recommendations observed strictly.
Metal water dispensers should not be placed on a crane as a central location for workers.
Engines should not be refueled while running. If refueling is done by hose connection from a tank or from drums by means of pumps, metallic connection between the hose nozzle and fill pipe should be maintained. A suitable fire extinguisher should be kept in the cab of the rig.
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