By Joe Frollo
Crane safety starts with daily inspections. Liability protection does, too, according to Cranes 101 President Jay Sturm.
Simple digital checklists such as the free ones offered by Cranes 101 allow workers to input information on a phone and instantly upload it to the cloud, where it is saved forever. These digital files are recognized equally to paper-written reports, saving time and resources while building a safety-oriented routine.
“I am currently scheduled to testify in three lawsuits where the company did not follow a daily routine, and if they did, they would be in a much better position,” Sturm said. “If you can show that you document daily inspections, you can put most lawsuits to bed.”
Along with being compliant with the manufacturer’s daily checklist, many contractors require annual assessments by third-party OSHA-recognized inspectors. Any crane that is used to move precast concrete is designated a “construction crane.” These types of cranes are required to be inspected and fully documented once a month.
It may seem like a lot, especially during busy times, but Sturm said experience shows that the investment always exceeds the effort.
“Don’t find yourself looking for what went wrong afterward,” Sturm said. “Don’t find yourself looking for documentation that you just don’t have.”
According to Sturm, four common areas to inspect on a daily basis for wear are:
- The anti two block where a wire gets caught on something else.
- The load rope, especially toward the ends.
- The hook and its safety latch.