6 Ways To Avoid Crane Hazards In Winter

For crane operators, it’s no small task to operate heavy and intricate machinery while at the same time ensuring safety for both workers and the public. There is certainly no shortage of hazards associated with crane operation, but in winter, those hazards can be compounded by cold, snow and icy conditions. Use these guidelines to stay on top of safety when the temperatures plunge:

1. Be Alert. Observe surface areas on and around the crane for ice and/or snow before entering and boarding the crane. Slip and fall injuries are most common in the winter so a little extra caution can go a long way in preventing accidents and injuries.

2. Bundle Up. The machine that is — cover the machine with a tarp or other water-resistant material when it is not in use to ensure that snow, ice or other condensation does not interfere with or corrode the machinery.

3. Warm Up. When starting the machine, allow adequate time for the crane to warm up prior to beginning work. Malfunctions are more common when machinery is used before it reaches operating temperature.

4. Check Load Chart. Load charts that are specific to the crane used is an invaluable resource to ensure proper crane safety, particularly when the crane’s operational capacity may be compromised due to cold temperatures. Load charts ensure that machinery is not overtaxed and thus, operate safely.

5. Clean Up. Prior to leaving a job site, remove debris from the day’s work. An overnight snow can hide debris making work conditions dangerous the following day.

6. Use Better Fuel. Switching to a higher grade fuel in the winter can help the machine run more smoothly and efficiently in cold weather.