Safety at Work

Jib Cranes Safety Requirements

If you're in the construction industry and there's a jib crane accident, you risk employee injury or death, as well as damage to property and equipment. Keep in mind that these risks can result in huge costs, penalties, jail time and even business closure.

But how do you minimize these risks? That's what today's article is all about.

Cranes and safety: What you need to know

You get two kinds of cranes:

  • Jib cranes. These include:
a. Rubber tyred mobile cranes (mostly with hydraulic extendable booms);

b. Steel tracked, crawler type cranes (mostly with lattice booms);

c. Truck mounted cranes;

d. Floating cranes; and

e. Tower cranes.

  • Portal and gantry cranes.
All cranes work under the same safe crane practices (Driven Machinery Regulation 18 and Construction Regulation 22 and 23, OHSA ). These regulations tell you the requirements for most cranes.

But today we're specifically focusing on making sure you're complying with safety laws when operating a jib crane.

Here are the six general safety requirements for jib cranes

1. Clearly mark all jib cranes with the maximum mass load it can safely carry

When this mass load varies i.e. you attach an extendable boom or vary the angle of the jib, you must post a table showing the safe mass load at the various positions. It must be clearly visible to the operator. This is normally put up inside the cabin of the crane

Here's an example of the type of information that must apprear on forklifts and cranes:

A 10 ton crane (with an approximate maximum lifting capacity) can only lift a maximum of about 10 tons. And only when the boom or jib is at its shortest and the load is put right next to the crane.

2. Every winch on your crane's cable must have at least three turns of the lifting rope on its drum at all times (Driven Machinery Regulation 18(1)(c), OHSA).

3. All jib cranes must have a braking device that can hold the suspended load if there's a power failure and/or can lower the load slowly and safely to the ground.

4. All jib cranes must have a limiting device to stop any lifting motion when the lifting hook reaches the highest safe point.

5. A jib crane with a lifting capacity of 5 000kg or more must have a limiting device to stop the lifting movement when the load is more than the rated mass load.

It must also have a load indicator to show the operator the mass of the load being lifted at any particular job radius. So it can stop any lifting or slewing motion if the load is more than the rated mass load of the crane.

6. Every crane must have a log book with a record of hours operators use it, any maintenance you do and a history of all inspections, examinations and testing

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