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2 precautions that must be taken when using cranes to transport heavy loads

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Cranes are often used to carry heavy loads around a building site. Here are two precautions that must be taken by those involved in this type of lifting operation.

1. The rigger should check the condition of the lifting slings and straps before using them

When a crane needs to be used to move a collection of heavy goods on a building site, the load will need to be attached to the crane's hoist by the rigger.

Before this person does this, they should carefully inspect the rigging equipment (i.e. the lifting slings, straps, ropes and other items) for signs of damage. If they notice that the condition of this equipment has deteriorated (for example, if the slings or ropes are frayed), they should not use these items to attach the load to the crane.

The reason for this is as follows; if in this situation, the rigger uses this damaged rigging equipment to attach the load, it is very likely that an accident will occur, as the rigging materials will probably snap and the load will detach from the crane. This would then result in the load falling onto the ground whilst the crane is driving it around the site.

If the load is comprised of heavy items, being struck by them as they fall from the crane could leave nearby labourers with fractures, deep wounds and other serious injuries. Furthermore, if the crane operator isn't able to brake quickly enough after the load detaches, they could end up driving over the fallen materials; this could not only result in the destruction of these materials but could also result in the tyres of the crane being damaged.

As such, it is vital for the rigger to ensure that the rigging equipment is in perfect condition before they use it to attach the load to the crane. 

2. The area where the load will be placed should be free from workers and fragile goods

It is also important to ensure that the patch of ground where the load will be placed by the crane operator is free from both people and fragile materials.

The reason for this is as follows; the load will often start to swing from side to side as the crane moves forward and will continue to swing as the operator lowers the hoist and releases the load. As such, if there are any people or fragile goods within a couple of metres of the area where the materials are going to be placed, they could be struck by the swinging load.

If a person is struck by the swinging materials, they could be knocked unconsciousness or pushed towards a nearby hazardous piece of equipment. Likewise, any fragile goods that are hit by the load are likely to be severely damaged by the impact.