HYDRA cranes and Mobile Hydraulic cranes are widely used in the Indian Construction Industry for loading, unloading and transportation materials. Mobile cranes are manufactured in compliance to ASME–B.30.5 standard whereas hydras are manufactured based on vendor engineering standards. Hydra designs & manufacturing are not covered under any Indian/International standards or Codes. Indian and Global statistics show that most of the crippling injuries and fatalities related to Hydras and mobile cranes can be attributed to basic easily preventable hazards. A case in point is an incident that recently occurred at one of our active construction sites where a worker was injured when he was struck by the front wheel of a Hydra crane while reaching over the tire to retrieve a sling stored on the crane’s chassis. Upon investigation, it was found that operator was busy talking on his mobile phone and suddenly reversed the crane while the injured person was in the line of fire.
This incident reinforces the need to validate the competency of operators and ensure they are trained.
SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR MOBILE EQUIPMENT OPERATOR’S INCLUDE
Hydra crane safety
- Must possess a valid license [HMV] issued by the RTA [State Regional Transport Authority].
- Ensure that the crane/hydra has a valid Certificate and TPI of Test and Examination issued by an Authorised Examiner.
- Refer to the load chart and identify the safe working load(SWL) of the crane/hydra. Be familiar with the crane operations and its controls.
- Conduct operational tests on all limiting and indicating devices (SLI, Over hoist limit switch, Boom limit switch, Boom limit cut off switch) under no load condition at the start of every shift.
- Ensure the ground condition has been assessed safe for crane travel and lifting job before starting any lifting job. Report any unsafe ground conditions to the Job Supervisor.
- Hoist a load only after a clear signal is given from the signalman.
- Identify the weight of the load and ensure it is within the safe working load (SWL) of the crane/hydra before hoisting/lifting.
- Avoid any sudden movement such as jerking or stopping the crane/hydra abruptly.
- Ensure all parts of the crane and load remain at least 3 meters away from overhead power lines.
- Do not leave cranes unattended while a load is suspended in mid-air.
- Do not operate cranes in severe weather conditions such as rain, strong winds or under poor lighting conditions.
- Update regularly the Mobile equipment Operator’s checklist.
- Report any failure or malfunction of the crane to the concerned supervisor. Take malfunction cranes out of service until repairs are made.
- Ensure that cranes are adequately and securely blocked while on a slope.
- NEVER use Hydra cranes for tandem lifting (lifts involving two or more cranes).
- Hydra crane shall not be used for carrying or dragging destabilized loads.
- Ensure that speed limit without a load is restricted to a maximum 5 kmph and speed limit with a load is restricted to the walking speed of the escorted person.
- Ensure that taglines are attached to the load which allows workers to pivot the load as it swings on the crane’s hook to avoid collision with objects.
- Never use MOBILE PHONES (texting, talking etc.) while operating equipment.
Workplace safety is more than just complying with a few safety rules. Applying common sense behavior at the workplace can eliminate many people from getting hurt. Everyone at the workplace must have specific safety responsibilities and a mutual understanding of who is responsible for what is essential.
Be aware of the hazards and risks while using Hydra cranes. Ensure adequate safety measures(Hydra crane safety) before and during job execution are fulfilled. Your constant vigilance, timely and prompt actions could eliminate major incidents.