Page 26 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology






Page 26 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology
P. 26

How to “Up” Your Expertise

                     Inspecting Mobile Cranes

               Starting with Safety “Ground Rules”

                         By Dennis J. O’Rourke, CSP, Director of National Crane Service, Inc.
         We divide safe crane operation into six categories: inspection, travel, set-up,
         determining capacity, making smooth movement following signals, and properly
         securing the crane after work. They are the outline for our forty-hour skills training
         course. In this article we’ll focus on inspection.

               ere are some crane safety “ground   tem failures (Figure 1).
               rules” that the reader should un-  A  third  category,  rigging
         Hderstand from the start.          and  work  area  problems,
           First,  safety has  four  guiding prin-  is excluded here.
         ciples. Poorest to best, they are: 1.   As  mentioned  above,
         tell people a hazard exists, 2. post a   safe crane operation con-
         warning sign about a hazard, 3. guard   sists of six categories,
         people from the hazard, and 4. elimi-  as  described  in  my 1978
         nate the hazard from the work  place.   paper, “From the Ready
         These principles are used in craning –   Line.”  The  first  is  inspec-
         from safety talks to signs in the cabs,   tion.  Note  that two  other
         and anti-two blocking systems. But the   important  topics,  rigging
         major hazard can never be eliminated:   and  hand  signals,  are  “be-
         holding a load against the gravitation-  low the hook” activities and   Figure 1. Reeving system.
         al pull of the earth.              play a critical role in mate-
           And safety skills training has three   rial handling safety as well.
         levels of effectiveness – sharing infor-                              installation date. Also included are any
         mation in talks, building understand-  What are the correct steps for   modifications and major repairs, espe-
         ing through meetings and testing, and,   inspecting a mobile crane?   cially structural. The maintenance and
         finally,  demonstrating  with  hands-on   Check your documents        service  log  listing  the  manufacturer’s
         applications.                        Start your inspection  by reviewing   requirements needs to be up to date.
           Also, statistically, most accidents   the  “historical  record  file.”  This  file   Select the right location
         (about 80%) occur during the opera-  contains, at minimum, the last annual   First, drive the crane to the inspec-
         tion of the crane. The rest are due   certification  report,  the  monthly  rope   tion site. This allows you to check the
         to  faulty  crane conditions,  the lion’s   inspections,  recommendations out-  driving,  braking  and steering.  At the
         share  being wire rope  reeving sys-  standing,  wire  rope  certification  and   location, when the crane is set up and
                                                                               leveled, if equipped, the outrigger func-
                                                                               tions can be examined.
                                                                                 Select a location that will allow you
                                                                               to lower the boom to the ground. This
                                                                               area should  be free from vehicle  and
                                                                               foot traffic. Overhead power lines are to
                                                                               be out of reach of the boom’s maximum
                                                                               length, if possible, to eliminate electri-
                                                                               cal hazards that would  interfere  with
                                                                               rotating the crane 360 degrees.
                                                                                 According to current 1926.1412 con-
                                                                               struction standards, during the annual
                                                                               inspection it is not necessary to lower
                                                                               the boom to the ground when inspect-
                                                                               ing the ropes or structure of the crane
                                                                               (Figure  2). However,  these “relaxed”
                                                                               rules are not “best practices.”
                                                                               Determine accessibility before
                                                                               inspection begins
                                                                                 The crane’s height and accessibil-
                                                                               ity  can  make  the  inspection  difficult
                           Figure 2. Lowering the boom to the ground.          to perform. If the crane is erected in a
                                                                                                continued on page 28
         26     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   June 2018
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