Potential Environmental Hazards on Sites with a Crane
Cranes are widely used in modern construction, helping you to reach heights quickly and easily without the need for people putting themselves in danger by working up in the air. That's not to say a crane can't potentially be just as dangerous, however.
It's important to understand the hazards that may arise when using a crane and to have a team of people working with and around it that know their responsibilities. Apart from thoroughly checking the crane itself to make sure it's in fully working order, your team should be on the lookout for dangers in the surrounding environment, so accidents can be prevented.
Overhead power lines
When carrying out an inspection of the area a crane is to be used in, power lines are often difficult to notice. People look for structures and ground-level hazards, but power lines go unseen until it's too late. Make sure you thoroughly check for any lines in the area, and find out if they're operational or not if you do discover any. You may be able to rework where the crane is situated, but you might have to wait until the lines can be removed or temporarily disabled.
Cranes are normally pretty good at handling rough terrain, but make sure a working crane isn't sited on a patch of uneven ground. The load can cause it to become unstable, which can lead to tipping and other kinds of accidents. If a crane needs to be moved across uneven ground, make sure it's clear of large obstructions.
The whole point of vehicles is, of course, to be mobile. This means that they can turn up after you've carried out your checks and cause problems when you thought the area was clear. Make sure you do a last-minute inspection for any vehicles on the site and introduce a strict policy to keep out unauthorised personnel when the crane is in place.
Buildings and scaffolding
Although you're sure to notice any buildings in the area, take care to account for the entire range of the crane when it's in movement. Accidents have been caused in the past by failing to account for this. Don't forget scaffolding or other temporary structures when you're making your safety checks. Like vehicles, scaffolding can turn up after you've already checked, so leave your site inspection until as late as possible to make sure the crane is operating in the area as it is when you view it.