Continuing with our previous post, we would like to focus now on the inspection checklist of mobile cranes, and the lift plan template and procedures to prevent accidents at the job site. Careful exam and rigorous inspection checklist of mobile cranes key aspects, as certification and qualification of the operator and the validity of his license to drive, the mobile crane specifications and net lifting capacity, are as important as the follow-up of the mobile cranes inspection guidelines issued by the American OSHA or the British HSE.
In fact, to meet the formal aspects of safety regulations (Osha, HSE, etc.) for working with mobile cranes, is the first step to avoid unnecessary troubles. Save costs to avoid regulations compliance, is self-deception. Licenses, certifications, qualifications, supplier specifications and user manuals in the local language, must also be part of the mobile crane inspection checklist, periodically. To check and confirm the regulations are respected, before placing the equipment into operation (market), is a must and then it should be constantly done, over the mobile crane entire lifetime. You can meet all the previous conditions and get even the best lift plan template and the best lifting procedure and every piece of machinery under license, but if the crane has not passed every inspection, the Health and Safety Officer could impede its access to the job site.
Then, before to issue the lift plan template, the lifting expert from the rental company should visit the mobile crane job site, to inspect the working conditions in situ (work license/ permissions, ground bearing pressure, obstacles, access for machinery, outrigger available base, maximum wind speed in the area, earthing, etc.) but, above all, the match of the chosen mobile crane to the job requirements, in accordance with its net lifting capacity and its specifications. At the same time, the lift plan template must incorporate the applicable occupational safety and health standards contained in the official guidelines and regulations (Osha, HSE, INHST, etc) that apply in his local work area. In countries where the lifting plan & procedure is mandatory for any lifting operation, the accident rate is significantly lower.
Once all the above points are checked, the mobile crane inspection checklist closed and kept all certifications, permits and licenses up to date; the lifting plan template ensures that everything else is subject to the operator’s skills and qualifications and to his site team performance. Then, the responsibility for the safe operation of the mobile crane rests in the operator’s hands. Either he or his team must verify the safety aspects before the lifting procedure such as the compaction of the ground under the outriggers, the wind speed, the ideal placement of the mobile crane depending on the obstacles and the required net ifting capacity, etc.; and they must also fulfill every point related to health and safety standards and regulations (OSHA, HSE, …) as well as the own local safety guidelines and specifications of the job site, developed by the Health and Safety Officer.
In their inspection guidelines, Osha, HSE and other similar regional administrations, strongly recommend monitoring on aspects of the work and the workplace that may impact on the safety of people, including: the risk of electrical overload and thus mobile cranes earthing; the correct measurement of distances and estimated loads below the net lifting capacity of the mobile crane; the right measurement of the wind speed during the lifting procedure; the exclusion zone to prevent personnel from being struck by the counterweight; the load charts including manufacturer’s guidelines & specifications must be stored in the mobile cranes; etc. In order to assure all these recommendations are properly tracked, they often recommend the mobile crane operator certification by an official certifying organization. There are currently five levels of operator certification, depending on crane sizes & types.