Dangers Related to Overhead Crane Operations and What Warehouse Workers Can Do to Avoid Them

26 September 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

The safe and efficient handling and storing of materials is vital to the success of warehousing operations. In warehouse environments, facility managers usually rely on the power and versatility of heavy lifting machinery such as cranes to get the job done. One of the most commonly used types of cranes used in warehousing applications is an overhead crane. Overhead crane operations can be extremely dangerous if your warehouse employees do not know how to correctly use the machinery. To reduce the risk of machinery-related injuries resulting from the use of this type of cranes, warehouse managers need to constantly educate and remind their workers on safe operation and practice. This can be achieved by providing refresher courses for warehouse workers.

Here is a look at some common hazards associated with overhead crane operations, and what warehouse personnel can do to avoid them.

Falling materials

One of the major reasons why warehouse employees get injured is because of falling objects. Usually, this may occur when a load being hoisted is so bulky that the equipment cannot support its weight, when some of the components responsible for holding the load are faulty or when the materials being lifted are not properly secured. During training meetings, crane operators should be reminded to check the crane's load chart at all times so as to ensure that the equipment will not be overloaded when it is being used. The workers should also be instructed to make sure load-carrying components such as hoisting ropes and hooks are regularly inspected for any signs of wear and tear, and to ensure that materials are always properly connected to securing devices before being lifted. These measures will help to reduce incidences where workers sustain injuries as a result of falling loads.

Electrical perils

Because overhead cranes typically rely on the power of electricity to operate, the risk of an electrical hazard arising is always imminent. If metal parts of the equipment come into contact with an electrical outlet, short circuits may occur, and this can lead to electrocution of equipment operators as well as those working in the surrounding area, like riggers and spotters guiding the load. Refresher courses can help remind operators to be mindful of electrical sources such as live overhead power lines when they are using the equipment. Aside from that, all warehouse employees should be advised to keep off "danger" zones where ongoing activities expose people to the risk of electrocutions. This will help minimise worker-related injuries resulting from overlooked electrical dangers.