Shannahan Crane & Hoist

Crane Safety Improvements: Collision Avoidance, Sway Control and More

A report found that Twenty-four percent of crane related injuries pertaining to overhead cranes occurred at a factory or plant resulted from crane-related accidents. These numbers don’t include the other non-fatal injuries that occurred.

Reviewing these statistics emphasizes the importance of implementing crane safety operation training and if necessary, any collision avoidance measures. New crane safety technology is helping companies and operators reduce accidents.

Keep reading to learn about these improvements.

Key Steps to Improve Collision Avoidance

The risk of cranes accidentally coming in contact is a significant issue. Crane projects involving boom-type, mobile, or several overhead cranes create more potential issues. Lack of adherence to safety precautions and oversight magnifies these risks.

There are several actions that help avoid crane collisions in manufacturing plants and other industrial settings. Examples include the following.

Power-Down Overhead Cranes

Ensure overhead cranes are de-energized or powered down when using others in the area. This lets operators move their cranes without worrying about touching the “tagged-out” one.

Establish Travel Parameters for All Cranes

Place highly visible markers at the max level that a bridge crane may travel near a mobile one. Install the following safety items.

  • Bumper stops
  • Electrical or mechanical restrictors
  • Floor level barrier cones
  • Runway rail hard-stopping rail clamps
  • Visible barricades
  • Warning tape

When two cranes move at the same time in a horizontal direction, there’s a significant risk of collision. To increase safety, place an “Master/Slave” system between the cranes. 

This person directs the cranes’ operation. The Master tells one crane to stay still while the other slave one moves. No crane moves without the Master’s approval.

Follow Correct Rig Loading Practices

If the force and weight balances and rigging technique aren’t correct, this creates a hazard. The load may become uneven, unstable, and can move in an unexpected manner. It’s also in danger of falling.

Establish Sway Control

If the primary lifting mechanism uses wire ropes, the crane may sway with heavy loads. This compromises the work efficiency and increases the chance of accidents.

Anti-sway systems control the out-of- and in-plane speculation angles of the load. This exerts stabilizing controls during bridge travel and/or trolley traverse motions.

Some have a smart feature that functions automatically. While the operator accelerates and decelerates the crane, this feature minimizes the sway. There is a control switch to turn this interface on and off as needed.

Consider Using Smart Crane Technology

Today, integrated communication technology provides safe multi-level anti-collision solutions. It tracks rail-bound transfer cars entering from the side. The system also checks all crane positions, no matter how high, to prevent collisions.

Laser Solutions

Some systems use laser tools to define distances. This includes between bridges and walls or two separate bridges.

They also set up restricted zones to allow for safe placement. Operators can use different programmable relay outputs to slow and stop crane motion. It also detects and notifies operators or machine centers of collision hazards.

The solution may include a touch screen controller and a live color display. Relay alarm systems are both programmable and teachable using machine learning. Other features may include:

  • 250 VDC crane interfaces using secondary panels
  • Audible and visual signaling devices
  • Module connectivity between crane sentries
  • Override capability
  • Wireless I/O modules

Wireless Solutions

Another system uses wireless sensors. They track the exact location of all the cranes or crane trolleys at one time. It also constantly and dynamically adjusts the distance to nearby objects.

Its antenna is part of the 1D24 housing. Thus, it only needs approximate sensor alignment to deliver precise results.

You won’t need separate communication systems to control movement and prevent collisions. Data connectivity ensures that all systems are synchronized.

Most solutions work with all types of cranes. This includes soft starters, contactor controls, and variable frequency drives. Since these systems operate with up to a 1/8-inch accuracy, they’ll function inside or outdoors.

Create a Safety Plan

OSHA requires all companies that operate cranes to develop a safety checklist. This includes regular inspection and replacement of worn equipment. All workers must receive training on all safety protocols and be compliant.

The following provides a sample checklist available from OSHA.

  • Check for stable ground conditions under the crane, i.e., the support, cribbing, blocking, etc.
  • Conduct a visible inspection of all equipment for damage or wear
  • Demarcate the work zone and install encroachment prevention measures
  • Only use qualified and document-verified signal personnel
  • Ensure crane operators use the communication system matching the signal person’s qualification
  • Ensure established lift plans are followed
  • Only hoist personnel with the crane in situations where there’s no other feasible choice
  • Ensure personnel rigging is inspected and meets the load chart specifications

Employers must meet to create project plans, assess risks, and define mitigation tasks. Plans must describe the assembly and disassembly strategies for cranes. Discuss the use of safety equipment, hoisting plans, and rigging needs.

Provide operation manuals and load charts in a written language that employees understand. Ensure they know the location of these items as well. Observe operations to make sure logistic and safety plans are always followed.

Looking for a Crane Company to Handle Your Needs?

This article described actions to promote crane collision avoidance. Shannahan Crane & Hoist has provided parts, service, engineering, and crane sales since 1961.

Our company offers hoists, intelligent lifting devices, and fall arrest safety systems. Check out our patented track systems and below-the-hook devices. You will also find crane parts as well as bridge, jib, gantry, and workstation cranes.

We offer comprehensive training and safety classes. Our turnkey fabrication means we’ll meet your needs at our factory-authorized service center.

Schedule a free consultation today for the products or services you need.

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