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Blog: Common Safety Weaknesses on the Jobsite

Blog: Common Safety Weaknesses on the Jobsite

Construction sites and industries that utilize heavy equipment can be dangerous places to work if safety isn’t at the forefront of everyone’s mind. When it comes to crane operation, there’s a lot that can go wrong when operators and crew members are not adequately trained in safety protocols or if site safety and maintenance are lacking. 


Common Safety Weaknesses on the Jobsite

The most common injuries on job sites, according to OSHA, include:

  • Falling or tripping
  • Being struck by an object
  • Electrocution
  • Caught in-between

Construction safety should be a top priority, especially when heavy machinery such as cranes is in use on-site. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2011 to 2017, there was an average of 42 deaths a year involving cranes. No project is worth someone’s life, so it is critical that you regularly review your safety training and standards.  

Pay special attention to the following common safety weaknesses. 

Machine Wear and Repair

All types of construction equipment see heavy use and a lot of wear over the course of a project. It can be easy to be complacent around machines that have been reliable. But the lack of prior safety concerns shouldn’t result in skipping routine inspections or repairs, especially on cranes.

Make sure the crane is still in good operating condition with daily machinery inspections. If an operator speaks up about mechanical issues, have the crane inspected and serviced before putting a load or lives at risk of injury and damage. Regular maintenance can help prevent site workers from being struck by objects or caught in-between.

Weather Safety

Construction is a year-round affair, meaning crews and machines are often required to work through less than ideal conditions. Severe storms, winds, or rain can often pop up with little notice throughout the year, exponentially increasing the risk of damage or injury on work sites.  Make sure you know how to mitigate inclement weather risks on non-ideal days and when it is time to call off any site work due to weather.

Communication Hazards

Worksites can get hectic and loud at the height of a project. Proper communication can help ensure smooth sailing and minimize the risk of errors and injuries. 

At the top level, implement daily check-ins with key personnel, so everyone knows the site’s current state. Have your site supervisor or lift director coordinate communication between the crane operator and other site personnel. Ensure you have a qualified crew of signal persons and operators who are comfortable operating in the environment.

Air horns and radios can help with communication but get workers trained on standard OSHA hand signals. This will enable your entire crew to communicate across the worksite; cranes aren’t the only large pieces of machinery that require spotters. Proper communication can help prevent site workers from being struck by objects or caught in-between.

Physical Burnout

Construction projects involve a complicated, ever-evolving schedule of work, contractors, and deliveries. There is a very real sense of constantly approaching deadlines that need to be hit, as delays can be costly and set back projects by exponential amounts. One of the most manageable safety weaknesses to combat is paying attention to worker burnout. 

Overwork in any job can lead to lowered productivity and increased mistakes. And on construction sites, both can be extreme safety hazards. Promote and provide a space for workers to take a few moments to rest their mind and body, especially when extreme heat or cold sets in on a job site. 

Grid Safety

Electrocution is one of the most common types of injuries across construction sites. It is important to note all of the dangers which are present on a worksite, and high-voltage lines are no exception. If possible, power should be turned off to minimize risks, but often this is not possible.

The minimum clearance for any power line is ten feet, but the higher the voltage, the greater the clearance required. When possible, it is best to set cranes where they have no possibility, even when fully extended, of coming into contact with the power line. For most construction sites, that ideal may be impossible. Safe operation then relies on your operating personnel.

Management should perform daily risk and site hazard analyses to make sure that cranes are being operated within OSHA regulations. It is always better to treat every power line as if it is fully powered and uninsulated.

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential to any work site safety plan. PPE goes beyond making sure workers are wearing hard hats or appropriate footwear. 

Environmental hazards like noise levels slowly become hazardous to workers, as do heavy loads and lifting. Ensure your personnel are provided with the appropriate PPE and are instructed on the proper use of PPE, including:

  • Ear plugs or hearing protection
  • Protective gloves, hats, and boots
  • Face shields or goggles
  • Masks and respiratory protection

Comprehensive, Safe Crane Rental

The best tools for operating a crane safely are experience, communication, and proper training. With over 40 years of moving and using cranes, Parker’s Crane Service has the expertise you need for safe, reliable crane operations, no matter the job site or weather.

We pride ourselves on safety and our Zero Accident Philosophy and conduct many detailed safety measures when performing a job to ensure that no project carries unnecessary risk. We perform the following for every single job we take:

  • Pre-lift Job Assessments
  • Daily Risk Assessments
  • On-site Hazard Analysis
  • Routine Management Audits

With a fleet of well-maintained hydraulic truck cranes, we offer not only the best equipment but can also help with site installation, maintenance, and operation. Our crew is OSHA and MSHA compliant to ensure your site and crew safety.

Contact us today If you’d like more information on how we can help you with your current or planned job.