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The Danger Zone of an Overloaded Crane

Crane Accidents

The invention of the crane played a large role in the modernization of society. Now, some may assume that this statement is hyperbolic. It most assuredly is not. The ability to build massive skyscrapers, bridges, and even roads is dependent upon construction equipment.

Often overlooked, cranes make much of this construction possible. Without a device that can lift heavy loads, the ability to build many structures would be cost prohibitive, labor intensive, and far too time consuming.

A crane is not a haphazardly designed piece of equipment. In order for a crane to operative effectively, its design must follow the laws of physics to its maximum benefit. On a baseline level, a crane works as a motorized fulcrum that is able to lift in enormous amount of weight efficiently and safely. The amount and volume of weight a crane can lift and move is fairly significant. However, there are limitations present. A crane is not an anti-matter device right out of a science-fiction film. If the crane is overloaded, it will not operate in an efficient manner. This means it could move rather slowly while enormous stress is endured by the gears. Then again, efficiency is not the most serious concern here. When a crane is overloaded a serious safety hazard is present.

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If the carrier load of a crane is significantly overloaded, it is possible that it may detach. This means the bed and all its contents will go "airborne" with gravity sending them hurling towards the sidewalk. Needless to say, any workers or pedestrians who are at ground zero of such a calamity are at serious risk of injuries and/or fatalities. That is why it is critical that crane operators follow a number of basic safety guidelines. These guidelines include:

  • Never overload a crane with more weight than what is suggested in the crane's operational manual. While it can sometimes be difficult to estimate the maximum weight amount, simply using good judgment in estimating can go a long way towards preventing an accident.
  • Never overfill the open vessels the cranes are lifting. This is important because it prevents debris from flying out. Yes, only filling an open vessel halfway may necessitate a longer work day, but it will remain a safe workday.
  • Installing overload protection systems is important as well. This will reduce the potential for overloads dramatically.
  • Management should always make sure cranes are inspected for safety. Stripped or worn gears will have difficulty maintaining weight limits. That is why a crane must always be in "top shape" prior to use.

Management should always monitor employees to make sure they are not overfilling the beds of a crane. Proper oversight of employees will go a long way towards maintaining safety.

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Again, the overloading of a crane is a serious matter. Accidents deriving from negligent overloading can lead to a variety of liability suits. Hopefully, the presence of civil punitive statutes will compel most constructions sites to be vigilant with safety. If not, a lawsuit could be the eventual result...and justifiably so. If you have been injured in a crane accident contact a lawyer today.

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