Most Common Mobile Crane Accidents and Their Solutions

Most Common Mobile Crane Accidents and Their Solutions

5,147 workers were killed on the job in 2017 – on average, that is 98 workers a week, or more than 14 deaths every day. Accidents tend to happen when the project manager, site supervisor, the mobile crane operator, and workers on the ground fail to communicate. Accidents also occur when these personnel fail to follow safe operating procedures and safety checks. In order for accidents to be minimized, or even eliminated, on your job site we have analyzed some of the most common accidents and found preventative measures and mobile crane safety tips that are recommended for the safety of your team and care of your equipment.

Top Mobile Crane Accidents 

Lack of Fall Protection

In 2016, 384 out of 991 total deaths in construction occurred from workers falling and is considered one of the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. OSHA requires that fall protection is provided at elevations above four feet in general industry workplaces, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in the longshoring operations.

It is an employer’s responsibility to prevent workers from falling and to help prevent employees from being injured due to falls. Employers Mobile crane operator training to avoid accidents- Total Equipment Trainingmust:

  • Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk into (using a railing and toeboard or a floor hole cover).
  • Provide a guardrail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor or runway.
  • Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as onto a conveyor belt) employers must provide guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.
  • Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings, and handrails.

Struck by Objects

The most common time to be struck by a crane load is during loading or unloading or caused during flagging, directing or guiding. Struck-by hazards are categorized into four categories: Flying Object, Falling Object, Swinging Object, and Rolling Object.

To avoid these types of job site hazards, be sure to look for the following signs:

  • Heavy equipment traffic
  • Working backup alarms
  • Poor visibility
  • Cranes with swing radius clearly marked
  • Spotters during backing up­­­­­­­­­

Power Line Electrocutions 

A crane can be a dangerous piece of equipment if not operated properly, especially when integrating outside variables such as electricity. Electrocution can happen from a variety of elements that your team should be aware of such as, foot touching/guiding loads cables, operating crane and foot touching crane that can result in shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions.

To prevent or eliminate this risk an employer can include the use of:

  • Insulation
  • Guarding
  • Grounding
  • Electrical Protective Devices
  • Safe Work Practices, such as….
    • Avoid working in wet working conditions
    • Avoid overhead powerlines
    • Use proper wiring and connectors
    • Use and maintain tools properly
    • Wear correct PPE to control electrical hazards

Mobile Cane Operating Training by Total Equipment Training 

By not only following these preventative practices, providing your personnel with accurate, on-site mobile crane training can help to reduce or eliminate the number of accidents that occur under your watch. With your team’s safety top of mind, a record of zero OSHA recordable accidents and over 16 years of experience, Total Equipment Training is committed to superior quality and results while serving as your reliable on-site heavy equipment training company.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can better equip your operators to prevent mobile crane accidents. It is never too early to ensure your workers’ safety.

Barb Fullman- CEO of Total Equipment Training
About the Author

As the owner of Total Equipment Training, Barb Fullman has been an active contributor to the heavy equipment training industry for over 23 years. Barb, a Penn State University graduate, is recognized as the highest ranking women-owned heavy equipment training business in the US. As a leading authority and provider of heavy equipment training, training manuals and tests based on OSHA Standards and Regulations, Total Equipment Trainings’ client list is composed of most of the Fortune 1000 companies focusing on energy, construction, heavy highway, and manufacturing.

Barb’s motto is “Stay safe, stay up to date”. She is committed to up-to-date & technically correct training, whether it is via in-person or through our library of online heavy equipment resources. With over 50 OSHA qualifying training topics to choose from with TET, the most popular heavy equipment training subjects are mobile cranes, NCCCO, all “dirt equipment”, rigging, crane inspections, and train-the-trainer.