Cranes are serious pieces of machinery and require a specific set of skills, certain qualifications, and prerequisite knowledge to get the job done properly. Even with the right training, there are a number of external factors that have the potential to lead to an incident in the workplace. For example, crane operators often work in hazardous locations such as construction sites, other workers may be present and in danger of collision with the crane, the machinery may not be up to standard, there may be obstructions on the site, and so on. When operating a crane, crane safety should always be the top priority and steps should be taken in order to reduce the risk for all parties involved.

Here are some handy tips for operating a crane safely and preventing workplace incidents:

1 - Survey Your Surroundings

Before you hop in the crane and start working, it is important that you take stock of your surroundings and assess the site for any potential hazards and/or obstructions. This includes checking the integrity of the ground and ensuring that it is able to carry the weight of the crane including the load, identifying any structures that are near or at the work site that could get in the crane's way, and the presence of any pedestrian traffic. Identifying and assessing these variables can provide crane operators with the valuable insights necessary to help prevent the occurrence of crane-related accidents.

**2 - Create an Exclusion Zone **

Crane accidents can be very dangerous and can cause very serious or even fatal injuries. For this reason, it is vital that an exclusion zone is created. An exclusion zone is an area around the crane that should not be entered by other workers, particularly when the crane is in operation. This helps to ensure that no one is in close proximity to the crane and in direct danger of collision or falling loads.

It is also important that the status of the crane, whether it be stationary or in motion, is constantly communicated to all other workers, so they know whether or not it is safe to approach.

3 - Check The Crane Itself

When operating a crane safely it is important that the crane is safe to use. This involves going through the different functions, controls, and mechanisms in the crane and ensuring that everything has been maintained and is up-to-standard. This will help the crane operator to make sure that the equipment they will be working with is reliable and will be responsive to their controls. A thorough check of the crane prior to all jobs is necessary to maintain safety on the site.

4 - Ensure The Load is Appropriate For The Crane

It is crucial that crane operators only carry loads that are considered safe and weigh less than the crane's rated capacity. Placing loads on a crane that are too large and exceeds its weight limit, will put substantial strain on the machine and can increase the likelihood of incidents, such as the load falling unexpectedly, causing damage to the crane, or the crane collapsing. Loading the crane with objects of an appropriate weight and securing it properly, can help to minimise the risks associated with operating a crane.

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