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Cranes and Derricks Falling Hazards

Nearly 50 percent of the accidents associated with cranes are due to the machinery coming into contact with a power source during operation. When this occurs, it is not only the crane operator who is put in harm's way, but anyone in the vicinity of the crane. Another hazard associated with the use of cranes or derricks is overloading. Overloading can cause irreversible damage to the structure of the crane, and it is the cause of nearly 80 percent of all reported crane upsets and structural failures. One other common problem associated with cranes and derricks is the constant risk of load slippage. If the load is not properly secured, items may fall onto other equipment, causing damage; or they may fall on a worker, causing serious injuries or death.

In response to several injuries and fatalities, in 2010 OSHA implemented a new safety standard for cranes and derricks, which is referenced as 29 CFR 1926 Subpart CC. These rules are specifically for equipment used in construction operations. Some of the requirements outlined in the new regulations are as follows:

  • Crane operators must be qualified or certified.
  • Employers must assess whether the ground is sufficient to support the weight of the hoisting equipment and loads the equipment will carry.
  • Hazards such as the locations of power lines, objects, or personnel within the work zone or swing radius must be assessed.
  • Inspections must occur to confirm that the equipment is in safe working order and that employees within the working zone are aware of potential hazards.

To learn more about Fall Protection visit our OSHA Construction Fall Protection Online Training Certification Course web page.

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