Overhead and Gantry Cranes - Handling the Load

Overloading is a common, but significant hazard associated with cranes. A crane shall not be loaded beyond its rated load capacity for any reason except test purposes. A load limit safety factor is not built into cranes, therefore, loads shall not exceed the load rating on the equipment name plate. "Rated load" means the maximum load including any lifting devices (such as magnets, spreader bars, chains, and slings) for which a crane’s load block or shell is designed and built.

Every load lifted by a crane shall be well secured and properly balanced in the sling or lifting device before it is lifted more than a few inches. To prevent swinging of a load, the hook shall be brought directly over the load when the attachment is made.

The operator of a crane shall avoid carrying loads over other personnel. In addition, no employee is permitted on the load, hook, or lifting device while hoisting, lowering, or traveling. Finally, operators of cranes are not permitted to leave their position at the controls while a load or lifting device is suspended.

At the beginning of each operator's shift, the upper limit switch of each hoist shall be tried out under no-load conditions. Additionally, the hoist limit switch which controls the upper limit of travel of the load block shall never be used as an operating control.

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