Preparing A New Overhead Crane Worker For The Job

If you are a construction area job supervisor, and your employees use an overhead crane to move objects within the work site, a lot of responsibility lies upon you to keep both your employees and civilians in the area safe from harm. When training a new employee to use an overhead crane, there are several risk factors that should be addressed to make sure they are competent enough to handle the equipment. Here are some of the main risk factors that you should extensively train your crane lift operators to deal with on a daily basis.

Electrical Hazards

When working with an overhead crane, any area that has power lines should be avoided. These areas should be identified and marked before the crane even arrives on the job site. Point out power lines to your crane lift operators so they are aware of areas to stay away from. Signs, fences, or tape should be placed around live power, as well. This will help the crane operator know to keep the boom and hoist line away from the area when moving an item. When storing the crane, you will need to place it far from live electricity to avoid any type of reaction between the metal of the crane and the electricity, in case of a downed wire.

Falling Material

Your overhead crane operators need to be aware of the proper procedures when moving material that can easily slip and fall. Falling material can be avoided by making sure items are strapped into place before hoisting them into the air. Hoists should be regularly checked to see how much load can be lifted without risk of slippage. Teach your employees the proper way to secure material using slings or straps.

If there seems to be any type of mechanical failure with the hoist, it should be put under lock out/tag out until it is fixed by a licensed crane mechanic and deemed safe for operation. All employees in the area should wear hard hats at all times that crane machinery is being operated. Crane lift operators should be trained to lower material to the ground before leaving the machinery for any reason, as material can slip without someone around to have a chance to save it from falling.


When a crane operator tries to move something that is too heavy, there is a risk to property and personnel. This is often done when a crane lift operator is not properly trained. All materials that are going to be lifted should be assessed beforehand to make sure they are under the weight restrictions set for the crane being used. When a crane lift operator guesses the weight, they may not be correct in the load capacity. This can cause materials to fall or damage to the crane.

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