Construction is one of the 10 most dangerous professions, according to Forbes magazine, causing more than 200 fatalities and several more injuries in 2012 alone. The heavy equipment involved in lifting and transporting materials, as well as the high altitudes many construction workers face, contribute to the concerns about this industry’s safety. This has forced many construction companies to enhance their accident prevention measures in an effort to keep their workers as safe as possible.
The Crane Institute of America recently responded to this call to safety with its 10th edition of Mobile Cranes, written to help crane operators utilize these machines safely and effectively. The book outlines all crane operating procedures from setup, to operation guidelines, to potential hazards. The sections outlined in the new book also includes the latest industry standards, as well as best practices for operating heavy equipment. Other standards noted in the new edition list the most recent Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)codes.
The importance of these safety guidebooks comes at a time when quality certification is peaking in the crane industry. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently released quality standards for crane operation that include several different safety measures, one of which describes the requirements for being a crane inspector, stating how day-to-day inspections should be conducted, and clarifying various techniques for crane inspection. The new standards also explain general crane inspections, as well as ones that should be carried out on specific types of cranes, such as tower cranes.
The framework behind these standards is intended to maximize efficiency, while maintaining a high level of quality and safety. They also help to streamline crane processes throughout the world, opening up higher volumes of international crane trading by standardizing all inspection for cranes. In essence, manufacturers should work together with inspectors, health and safety organizations, and insurance companies to make high quality cranes that can be utilized globally.
The need for quality cranes is heightened by the fact that crane accidents are rampant throughout the world. A recent calamity in Melbourne, Australia, sent a crane operator to the emergency room for back injuries when the crane overturned, trapping him inside. A tower crane collapsed on a high-rise building site in Malaysia, fatally wounding its operator, and another crane’s boom, in Utah, buckled and fell as it tried to lift a cooling unit on the rooftop of a building. Several other crane incidents have been reported in the U.S., and around the world as well.
The standards issued by ISO, and domestically by OSHA, are aimed at reducing these types of hazardous scenarios. While it is clear that these regulations are not the solution to construction dangers, they do offer ways to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities in the construction industry, and ensure a higher level of safety for all workers.