To construct some of the tallest buildings in the world, construction crews rely on the power and reach of the Tower crane. This type of crane is known as a fixed crane because it’s stationary on the construction site. Due to its size and power, the Tower crane is typically used to move materials around the site and where other cranes cannot reach.
It takes a certified professional to handle one of these machines safely. When used correctly, a Tower crane is a valuable asset. But beware of the hazards that lie all around the construction site. Negligence, miscalculations, and improper crane use often result in injury or worse. To remain safe and to keep other workers safe, keep safety top of mind. Learn more about Tower crane safety and how you can avoid common hazards.
3 Main Safety Hazards
Once you’re in control of the Tower crane, you’re not just responsible for moving materials. You are responsible for avoiding accidents. Be on the lookout for these three main hazards while operating Tower cranes.
As heavy materials are lifted and moved across the site, something may go wrong, and the load drops to the earth below. The most common reason this would happen is when the load was not secured properly. The worst-case scenario is the line snapping, resulting in the load dropping straight down. As you can imagine, falling loads dropping from a Tower crane’s height can only lead to severe injury or death.
While Tower cranes are the most powerful type of crane—it’s still possible to overload them. All cranes have a load capacity limit. It’s the operator’s responsibility to know that limit. Sometimes, the load capacity is altered by other factors such as the foundation your crane is on, how far it reaches out, and more. To be safe, never attempt to go past the load capacity.
Operating at extreme heights means you may be around electrical hazards such as power lines. Before the tower crane is assembled, electrical hazards should be pointed out and kept top of mind. A negligent operator could easily swing the crane or line into the power lines, which could electrocute them, break the line, and lead to injury or death to those below.
The hazards mentioned above exist on just about every construction site. But that doesn’t mean accidents have to occur. You can help minimize the chances of a fatal injury by following these safety tips for Tower cranes.
Signaling & Training
No one should use the Tower crane unless they have proper training and certification. These are not toys at a playground—it takes a skilled worker to maneuver one of these machines. Proper training also includes knowing what various signs mean on the construction site. It’d be hard to know what hazards are around you if you can’t read any of the warning signs.
To keep the Tower crane running without issue, it needs regular maintenance. Fixing small issues before they can lead to big accidents is an easy way to prevent a loss of life. It also ensures you can get the job done efficiently.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Whether you’re in the crane or somewhere else on the construction site, you should always be wearing your PPE. A hard hat is a classic example of equipment made to keep you safe from falling objects.
Know Your Crane’s Limits
Before lifting anything, the operator should know their Tower crane’s maximum load capacity. This load capacity is there for a reason and should not be taken lightly. Even attempting to go slightly over the limit can result in significant injury or death.
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Career Outlook as a Tower Crane Operator
Tower crane operator employment is on track to grow 7% over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means 84,300 job openings will be available for qualified operators every year. If you were hoping to land one of these positions, now is the time to start.
Find Crane Training School Near You
Getting an education and starting a new career doesn’t have to take years or even months. At Heavy Equipment Colleges of America, we offer accelerated programs that give you the basic skills employers are looking for. Our Tower crane operator program can be completed in as little as two weeks.
Contact us today to learn more about our programs and locations.