When it comes to lifting and lowering heavy loads, no equipment fits the bill more than cranes. It is, however, important to note that not all cranes are designed to operate the same way. Broadly speaking, cranes can be categorised into two groups: stationary cranes and mobile cranes. For purposes of narrowing the topic of discussion, this article is going to talk about a particular type of mobile crane, called ute cranes. As their name implies, ute cranes are cranes that can be mounted on utes like pick-up trucks and operated as mobile units.
As with any other type of crane equipment, safe operation of ute cranes is vital. As an industry requirement, only trained and experienced personnel should be used to set up and operate the equipment. Aside from that, safety control steps should be taken to prevent potential hazards from happening.
Take a look at some common hazard controls employed when using ute cranes.
Only those directly involved in crane operations should be allowed onsite because they understand the hazards associated with the job. An effective way to ensure that only authorised personnel access the worksite is to strategically place hazard warning signs around the project location. Worksite signs like "No Unauthorised Entry", "Do Not Enter", "Danger Area", or "Keep Out" can go a long way in ensuring that unauthorised persons keep off the sites where ute crane operations are ongoing.
Personnel involved in ute crane operations must maintain good communication between each other. They can do so by using two-way radios, mobile phones, tablets or other mobile communication devices. Good communication between workers during crane use is important to ensure that all activities at the site are carried out in a coordinated manner and so that mishaps that could result in hazards can be minimised.
A spotter is a person who is employed to make certain observations attributable to their work environment. They can be used to identify potential hazards and warn ute crane operators about the dangers, especially in blind spots. Spotters should always be in continuous contact with the crane operators.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Ute crane operators and other employees working near the equipment must be provided with personal safety equipment, such as reflector jackets and vests for easy visibility at the worksite. Making sure that all personnel involved in crane operations use such equipment when required is critical to minimising many workplaces hazards.