Shannahan Crane & Hoist

Overhead Crane Operator Safety Training

Per ASME B30.2 standard: “This is required training towards the certification of an overhead crane operator.”

An Automation World survey showed that workers prioritize reaching production targets over following safety guidelines.

From the same survey, 74% of workers believe that training is the most important step in creating a safe working environment. 

When it comes to heavy machinery creating a culture of safety in industrial workplaces is essential. There are specific safety protocols for every type of heavy machinery in industrial settings. Today we’ll be looking at an industrial standard: the overhead crane.

If you’re working with overhead cranes here’s all you need to know about overhead crane operator safety.  

Basic Crane Safety: The 3 C’s

Overhead cranes come in all shapes and sizes. They’re an essential part of industrial business operations. Overhead cranes make operations more efficient. They save on time and labor by easily moving heavy items across a distance overhead as opposed to across the floor. 

Using overhead cranes also prevents product damage and is less likely to cause serious injury than other methods of moving goods. 

This is unless standardized safety guidelines are not followed. The basics of crane safety are easily summarised. We’ll call them the 3 Cs of crane safety operation. 

Check Crane

Before you begin any operation, inspect that the crane is in working in order. This means knowing the machine’s limits and ensuring that every part of the crane is working as it should. This also involves checking that your load is correctly attached and secure.

Clear Area

Make sure that the area under the crane is clear before commencing operation. Ensure that all members of your team are where they’re supposed to be and are not in harm’s way. Also, make sure that the entire area is clear of any obstructions.


Communication is key. Before you commence operation, you should warn everyone in the area that the crane is in use. It is vital that you decide on agreed-upon hand signals for everyone involved in the process. All workers should be familiar with these signals. 

Let’s Get Specific: Crane Safety Training 

The 3 C’s cover the very basics and are the bare minimum when it comes to safety training. Posters detailing safety protocol will only get you so far if employees don’t actually know what safety protocol means.

Workers will have different ideas of what counts as “clearing the area” and differing styles of communication.

Truly creating a culture of safety in the workplace involves in-depth knowledge of your particular machine. This includes knowing how to maintain it and knowing what to do if something goes wrong. In fact, a standardized inspection process is required by law.  So what does this entail?  

What Is Overhead Crane Operator Safety Training? 

To ensure that everyone is on the same page, a standardized overhead crane operator safety course should be compulsory for all employees working with overhead cranes. This includes A/D directors, lift directors, riggers, and engineers. In-depth knowledge of crane operating safety can be learned by completing a detailed, certified course.   

Authorized courses form the foundation of employee safety training. They are designed to prevent and minimize any injuries that may occur. A factory-authorized training program should cover everything from general instruction and installation to maintenance.

What Does It Mean to Be ASME Certified?

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) was formed in the 1800s. It served as a forum for engineers to discuss technological developments and progress within the field. Since then the ASME has created a series of regulations and standards to ensure the smooth, effective and safe operation of industrial machinery.

The ASME regularly updates these regulations and standards. They frequently release comprehensive outlines and guides to keep up with ever-evolving industry trends. Governmental bodies use these regulations in the development and implementation of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) protocols.

ASME guides may be purchased online for a fee. But information is always easier to swallow in a class-setting. An ASME training course will cover everything in the guide and provide an opportunity for employees to test their knowledge and share any concerns.

Why Do I Need to be Certified? 

The United States Department of Labor has an exhaustive inspection checklist when it comes to legally and safely operating overhead cranes. Verified training courses will ensure that you’re doing everything completely legally and correctly

When inspections are undertaken, officials will inquire into key individuals’ experience and knowledge of protocol. The official guidelines also state that any degrees, certificates, or other relevant paperwork proving this knowledge must be provided. A certified course will ensure that all employees have the correct paperwork to supply. 

Apart from passing all external inspections, there are a few other reasons why crane operator safety is essential. 

Workers’ Compensation

If an employee is injured in the workplace, they may take legal action for financial compensation from their employer. Depending on the jurisdiction of the incident, an employee may use a failure to adhere to OSHA safety protocols as grounds to pursue a case. 

Hefty Fines

If you’re found to be in breach of OSHA’s regulations, get ready for a hefty fine.  Costs can range per violation from a less serious offense (that means a breach not necessarily resulting in death or serious physical harm) to more serious, willful, or repeat incidents. 

Creating an Ethical Workplace

A happy, healthy workplace starts with respecting the safety of your employees. If you care about creating and adhering to a culture of safety your employees will too. A working environment based on mutual care and trust is also essential to a job well done. 

Overhead Crane Safety: Hanging in the Balance

Overhead crane operator safety begins with a comprehensive, verified training course. Strong, foundational knowledge of operations and official regulations is the first step in creating a happier, healthier, safer workplace. If you’re looking to invest in a safety course, or need some more information get in touch today!

Share this post

Scroll to Top