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Materials Handling - Overhead Crane Operation

What should you do before moving a load?

  • Ensure all loose materials, parts, blocking and packing have been removed from the load before lifting.
  • Remove any slack from the sling and hoisting ropes before lifting the load.
  • Make sure that the lifting device seats in the saddle of the hook.
  • Verify that the load is not heavier that the maximum load capacity.

How should you move loads safely?

  • Move crane controls smoothly. Avoid abrupt, jerky movements of the load.
  • Follow signals only from one slinger in charge of the lift, except a stop signal.
  • Make sure everyone is away from the load before hoisting. Sound a bell, siren or other warning device and start to hoist slowly.
  • Ensure nothing links or catches on the load while raising it or traveling.
  • Ensure that nothing obstructs the movement of a load.
  • Keep the load under control when lowering a load. If the braking system stops working, the load can usually be lowered by reversing the hoist controller to the first or second point.
  • Do not lower the load below a level that corresponds to less than two full wraps of wire rope left on the drum.
  • Stay in a crane cab during power failure. Place controls in "off" position, attract attention and wait for help.

What should you do before leaving the crane?

  • Remove the load hanging on crane hooks.
  • Raise all hooks to a mid-position.
  • Spot the crane at a designated location.
  • Before closing the main switch, make sure that all controllers are in the "off" position.

What should you avoid when operating an overhead crane?

  • Do not carry anything in your hands when going up and down ladders. Items that are too large to go into pockets or belts should be lifted to or lowered from the crane by rope.
  • Do not operate a crane if limit switches are out of order, or if cables show defects.
  • Do not lower the blocks below the point where less than two full wraps of cable remain on the drum.
  • Do not attempt lifts beyond the rated load capacity of a crane or slings.
  • Do not lift a load from the side. Centre the crane directly over the load before hoisting to avoid swinging the load.
Overhead Crane Operation
  • Do not allow anyone to ride on a load or hooks.
  • Do not leave slings dangling from the load hook. Have sling hooks placed on the sling ring when carrying slings to the load.
  • Do not raise loads higher than necessary to clear objects.
  • Do not pass a load over workers.
  • Do not reverse a motor until it has come to a full stop except to avoid accidents.
  • Do not walk on the crane runway.
  • Do not leave suspended loads unattended.

Document last updated on September 5, 2013

Disclaimer

Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.