Crane Fines and How to Avoid Them

Crane Fines and How to Avoid Them
6/5/2019 9:08:56 AM

Safety should always be the number one priority for all construction workers and managers. Improperly using a crane can have major consequences, resulting in serious injury or death. Failure to comply with OSHA guidelines can result in hefty fines and legal ramifications. Here are some pointers you can use to help keep your construction site safe and avoid fines.

Remove Failed Equipment

Removing failed equipment may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how common it is for companies to be fined for failure to replace or repair their failed equipment. Common safety tips and tests for crane parts include:

  • Eye Bolts: The hook shouldn’t ever be directly fixed onto the eyebolt, the slings should never be strung through, and the angle of the bolt should never be greater than 45 degrees when elevated.

  • Wire Rope Slings: Gears must be free of broken wires, birdcages, and kinks.

  • Cable Clips: At least three clips must be used, and the distance between them needs to be equal.

  • Lifting Gears: To prevent overloading, safety workload (SWL) needs to be defined.

Have the Proper Documentation

The proper documentation, even signage and records, is needed for each construction site for a couple of reasons. Firstly, having visible signage ensures that reminders and proper safety protocol are accessible to workers. Secondly, comprehensive records of all injuries and accidents are needed for OSHA inspections. To avoid any problems, you should perform the following steps:

  • Make sure that the right procedures have been implemented at their respective locations. For instance, one common OSHA fine occurs from not having an operator’s manual in the crane cab.

  • Keep detailed record of everything occurring at your site. If a surprise inspection arises, the inspector will be very pleased with your cooperation and organization.

  • Ensure that records of all prior inspections have been filed and are easy to access.

Use Qualified Workers for their Respective Tasks

Using unqualified workers to perform signaling and rigging tasks is one of the most common crane violations. While everyone should be familiar with all jobs on the construction site, there are certain roles that require special certifications. Here are LC Crane, we make sure that all of our crew is properly certified to perform their assigned roles. Some of these roles include:

  • Rigger: In charge of moving and handling loads. The level of certification required depends on factors such as the ability to inspect and select rigging equipment.

  • Crane Inspector: OSHA defines a qualified crane inspector to be "...a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge experience, successfully demonstrated the ability to solve/resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.” Crane inspectors must have at least 5 years of relevant education or crane experience to be NCCCO certified.

  • Signalperson: Communicates hand signals between the crane operator and the signaler. This person must be able to direct crane movement and be trained on proper lifting procedures.

  • Crane Operator: Conducts functional tests before the crane is used on-site, and is responsible for crane operation.

You can help your jobsite become more safe and decrease your risk of fines by following the above pointers. Make sure that the proper signage and documentation is viewable wherever it’s needed and that your crew is properly certified. Crane fines will never be an issue as long as you take the proper precautions. Contact us today with any questions!

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