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Crane Safety and Rated Capacity

Crane Accidents

The brilliance of a crane lies in its ability to manipulate weight and mass via the principles of physics. That is to say, extremely heavy weight can be lifted without causing undue stress that will break the crane's cables.

However, even the most sophisticated crane has its limits. Once these limits are reached, the weight of the lifted object can snap the crane's neck or cables. This is why it is always important to understand the exact rated capacity of the crane.

Rated capacity essentially refers to how much a crane can carry before it is overloaded. Obviously, a crane attempting to lift more than what it can feasibly handle present a severe safety hazard. That is why rated capacities are provided in detail when operating a crane. Without a clear definition of what a crane's rated capacity truly is, the ability to operate a crane safely would be pure guesswork. Such guesswork would clearly undermine any safe operation.

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Thankfully, there is a device available known as a rated capacity indicator. As the name would imply, a rated capacity indicator provides the crane operator with a warning when the rated capacity of the crane is being exceeded. Some rated capacity indicators provide a warning signal that is not only heard by the operator, it can also be heard by all those who are in the vicinity of the crane. This is what makes this device such a helpful invention. It dramatically increases the safety for all those who may be in proximity to the crane. This allows the vicinity of the site to maintain a high semblance of safety.

Also, federal regulations mandate the testing go overload capacity of cranes under certain circumstances. These circumstances include when a new crane rolls off the assembly line, when it is repaired, or when it is re-rated. However, there is no requirement for a yearly inspection of the overload capacity. To some extent, this can pose a hazard particularly if there is a problem with the crane that goes unnoticed.

This is not to say that there are no regulations whatsoever when it comes to rated capacity. In actuality, there are a number of rules present. Namely, the rated capacity of a crane must always be clearly indicated on various parts of the crane. This is to avoid the aforementioned problem of guesswork. Also, it is mandated that a crane must be properly maintained so that it can lift its maximum load safely. In other words, a construction site can not allow a crane to fall into disrepair or neglect as this would present an extreme safety hazard. Unfortunately, the regulations that profess such a andate are written in an incredibly vague fashion. Perhaps this is due to the fact that a yearly inspection is not mandated.

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Rated capacity is critical to understanding the safe operation of a crane. If a load is too heavy a crane crash is highly probably. Thankfully, mostly all constructions sites seek to operate cranes in accordance with rated capacity. To do otherwise would involve allowing a hazardous situation to exist. If you have been injured contact a crane accident lawyer today.

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