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The Three most Common Overhead Crane Problems

Most industries that lift heavy items use overhead cranes. The tool is indispensable for easy lifting and transportation of goods or materials. The machines are custom designed and built, and so each installation is unique. When cranes are installed properly, there are virtually no issues with mechanical failure that will lead to injury. Just because machines function properly, it doesn't mean that an individual can't get hurt or potentially killed while operating an overhead crane. Every year, there are a very small percentage of people injured and killed after an accident with an overhead crane. If workers are properly trained to recognize and avoid hazards, overhead operations are very safe and simple.

No type of crane is excused from safety protocols, and so the information provided below should be taken seriously. The three most common types of hazards from an overhead crane are:

Electrical hazard- OSHA has calculated that roughly 50% of all overhead crane incidents stem from a power source coming in contact with a machine during operation. It is important to protect your machine from coming in contact with high-voltage power lines. This is usually the case for cranes that can move. A worker will be moving the crane, and if they aren't careful they could make contact with the power lines. This could potentially electrocute the crane operator. OSHA reports that about 200 people each year are electrocuted this way. Not only is the operator at risk, but also so is everyone in the factory/space.

Overloading is another big problem that is easily avoidable. If a crane upsets or has structural failures, there is an 80% chance it is a result of loading the crane with too much weight. The damage done to the crane is normally not fixable, and this requires an expensive purchase of a new machine. Crane operators who rely on instinct would be the main culprits behind this issue. If the machine breaks and falls it could destroy property and seriously injure workers.

Lastly, there is the issue of materials falling. This is the smallest issue, and in 2012 it only accounted for 20% of failures. A good portion of the time the problem is a result of workers rushing through their jobs. Workers must take the time to learn how to properly secure materials for lifting, as well as taking the time to properly secure each and every load.

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