WORKING AROUND CRANES
EXPERIENCE CAN BE THE WORST TEACHER
Experience teaches us a lot about working around cranes. But often the lessons are costly. For example: A laborer carrying a bag of cement walked between a crawler crane and a building column. The crane swung round and fatally crushed him between the counterweight and the column. On another job, a workman was leaning on the crane frame, talking with one of his buddies. The load came in contact with a live power line and he was electrocuted. Today, we'll discuss things we should and should not do when working around this equipment.
STAY OUT FROM UNDER
It's a smart move on your part to stay out from under suspended hooks and loads. There's always a chance that during a lift, the load could shift and fall. It may be a slim chance because of the good rigging techniques we use. But once is all it takes to cause a serious injury or a fatality. Also stay clear of swinging loads. That big "I" beam can squash you like a bug if you get in the way.
YOU'RE NOT SAFE WHEN NOT SEEN
Remember, too, that the crane operator may not see you. He's concentrating on moving his crane into position or swinging his load. Think of the swing area of the crane as "no- man's land." And stay out. The crane will have no sympathy if you get in the way. And it won't come out second best. I'll guarantee that.
Have you ever heard of a P.L.P.? It stands for Public Leaning Post. And a lot of people think that's what the crane is. They're asking for a shocking experience if the load or boom touches a live wire. So don't lean on the crane. Stay clear. It's too bad the workman we talked about earlier didn't take this advice. He'd still be around today. Of course, with all the overhead work going on, we always should wear our hard hats. Concrete slopped out of a lifted bucket can crack an unprotected skull. I don't understand why some persons never use the stairs or personnel hoists. They insist on "riding the hook." And they're asking for trouble when they do. It's one of the most dangerous means of transportation around.
USE EXTRA CARE AROUND CRANES
The crane is a fantastic piece of equipment. It saves us an enormous amount of work. But like anything else that's big and powerful, it can be dangerous. That's why I've taken the time to stress that you be extra careful when working around cranes.
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