A Simple Guide to Crane Operations: Safety, Roles and Responsibilities

Cranes are an integral part of any major civil construction projects. Without cranes, it can be very hard to lift heavy objects like metal beams or concrete slabs and transport them.

Crane operations are quite complex and often dangerous. There’s always the risk of someone being seriously injured or some significant property damage being incurred. The only way to mitigate such risks is to have a well-trained and experienced team handling the operation. Everyone involved in the task needs to understand their own roles and responsibilities and the general safety requirements.

In this article, we’re going to be giving you a brief overview on what these are:

The Safety Requirements

The safety of crane operations are being regulated by the Australian Standard for Cranes, hoists and winches — Safe use. This standard specifies a lot of things, including how often cranes should be checked. Currently, the standard dictates that cranes should undergo routine check-ups every three months. In addition, it is compulsory to get a certified mechanical inspection and undergo refurbishment every 10 years. Every 25 years, a structural inspection should be performed on the crane to determine whether it’s suitable for continued use.

The safety requirements also cover other major aspects such as the actual operation and hiring/leasing cranes. For instance, there should be barriers or control lines set up around the perimeter of the operation in order to keep out other workers and visitors. In addition, the operator is not authorized to start using the crane until all other employees have communicated that they are in safe positions.

By adhering to these, all individuals involved can protect them from both physical harm and penalties issued by regulatory bodies.

The Roles and Responsibilities

This section covers the key roles involved in the crane operations and what their responsible for:

The Crane Owner

This can either refers to the party that owns the crane or has custodial control of it. The owner’s responsibilities include:

  • Passing on all maintenance records and technical information of the crane to the user
  • Supplying the user with a crane that meets their requirements
  • Providing any further technical information regarded the crane when requested by the user
  • Arranging inspection and maintenance.

The Crane User

The crane user is responsible for getting the crane to the site and overseeing who uses it. In addition, the crane user is responsible for:

  • Making sure that operators adhere to the proper safety standards
  • Ensuring that worksite regulations are followed by the operators
  • Ensuring that the proper documentation has been supplied by the crane owner.
  • Making certain that the crane owner performs routine inspections.

Site Supervisor

The site supervisor oversees and controls the entire crane operation, in addition to all other tasks happening within the worksite. The site supervisor’s responsibilities include:

  • Checking that the crane meets all requirements before putting it to use
  • Ensuring that all hired operators are licensed and experience
  • Communicating what regulations the operation will be subject to.
  • Overseeing all rigging plans or delegating this task to a qualified person or third party engineering company.
  • Ensuring coordination of crane operation with other jobs on the worksite.
  • Ensuring that the worksite is prepared for the housing and movement of a crane beforehand.

As you can see crane operations are quite complicated and required lots of regulations. Each person involved should have a thorough understanding of what their responsibilities are and what safety regulations to adhere to.

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