Safety precautions are a core element of any job site or construction site. However, additional measures are necessary whenever there is heavy machinery involved, such as a mobile crane. Accidents with these vehicles can have severe and even devastating consequences. Thankfully, many of them are preventable if you implement and follow the correct safety precautions. The process should start long before you initiate any lifting job. You need to begin by developing a mobile crane setup procedure.
And if you follow these next steps, you will be on the right track.
1 – Begin preparations early
A common misconception is that most of the hard work happens on the setup and lifting day. But that’s not the case. In truth, most of the work should be done long before the crane arrives at your job site. This is how you ensure that the lift will be a success and how you keep everyone safe.
Try not to rush any part of this process. Instead, you should start preparing for the setup of the crane as soon as you can.
2 – Research and implement official requirements
As you start doing your preparations, you must research all the official requirements and procedures you need to implement. There might be some differences depending on your location, the nature of the site, etc.
However, there are also general OSHA and ASME guidelines that everyone needs to follow (for example, that the crane must be set up on a piece of stable ground).
Take a look at OSHA’s resources for more information.
3 – Hire a professional crane rental company
The importance of hiring a reliable crane rental company cannot be overstated.
You need to find a business with a proven track record that employs trained and certified operators. And the company should also have high quality and well-maintained cranes.
4 – Develop a lift plan
A lift plan is a document that will outline all the details about the procedures for the lift. It will include information like the following:
- Mass of the load
- Lifting diagrams
- Names of the persons involved.
Generally, the crane rental company will be responsible for developing a suitable lift plan. However, the manager of the site will need to provide them with all the required information.
You should have the necessary information on hand to develop a setup procedure for the crane.
5 – Double check the placement
One of the first things you need to establish is where you are going to place the crane. You want to choose a location that is ideally suited for the crane to reach the load and complete the lift.
Besides this, you want to make sure that all the equipment will fit into the available space.
Once you’ve chosen the spot, you should keep it clean and clear and mark it visibly.
6 – Inspect the ground
Hand in hand with this, you need to check on the condition of the soil in this location. To do this, some people consult a geotechnical engineer while others use a portable Dynamic Cone Penetrometer.
You need to find out whether the ground suits the following criteria, among others:
- The soil needs to be drained.
- It should have the correct bearing strength.
- The soil should be compacted.
- There should be no sub-surface hazards.
If your chosen spot has a bad soil/ground situation, but you can’t place the crane anywhere else, you will need to take steps to rectify and improve the soil.
7 – Identify any hazards
The issues we’ve talked about aren’t the only potential hazards in the environment. You should look for anything that might get in the way. And you should look for anything that could be damaged by the crane or cause damage to the crane and the operators.
Overhanging structures like power lines are a common issue.
Your setup procedure should take this into account.
8 – Get the correct equipment and support materials
Overall, one of the most critical factors of the setup procedure is to make sure you are going to hire the right equipment and supporting materials.
In terms of the crane, you want to look at features like it’s mobility, capacity, and the length of its boom and jib to see if it’s suitable.
For example, the Manitex TC50155S is a boom truck with a capacity of 50 tons and a combined boom and jib of 194 feet. If the load is heavier or the lift farther, the crane won’t be able to manage it.
Besides this, you need to acquire the correct outrigger pads, crane pads, and crane mats to support the vehicle. It needs to work for the specific truck, the weight of the load, the condition of the soil, and weather conditions like wind.
9 – Securing access
As part of developing a mobile crane setup procedure, you need to iron out all the details regarding access.
You need to arrange with the relevant parties to make sure the crane rental company has permission to enter the grounds. Besides this, you want to make sure that the pathway is open for the crane.
10 – Work out a schedule
Another vital detail to consider is the work schedule for the setup. You need to decide who will be responsible for what. Significantly, you need to determine who will be in charge if something goes wrong.
Keep in mind that the manager and employer of the job site possess the lion’s share of the responsibility. But they are not the only ones. All personnel on location possess some responsibility.
So everyone must be informed and on board with the plan.
Don’t be caught unprepared
You wouldn’t want a surgeon to jump straight into any operation without forethought or planning. Similarly, you shouldn’t jump into a lift job without any preparation. In either case, the consequences could be deadly.
Launch well with a mobile crane setup procedure
But thanks to careful planning, mobile cranes are successfully used all around the country daily. With the right crane and the right team (and the right mobile crane setup procedure), you can complete any lift safely and effectively.