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Working safely with cranes

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A crane is only as strong as its weakest link. That means compliance with manufacturers' recommendations, a thorough maintenance program, periodic inspections, and comprehensive operator training are essential to ensure workplace safety. You can't exceed the capacity of the weakest link, explained Chuck Lemon, the crane safety manager for the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, operating a crane outside the manufacturer's safe lifting capacity can lead to crane tip-overs. Overloading, along with improper assembly and disassembly procedures and improper rigging, may also contribute to boom collapse. Employers need to take the necessary precautions to ensure that employees do not overload the crane. There are a lot of things manufacturers will call out, concluded Lemon. Employers need a robust inspection and preventative maintenance program. Once operators are qualified and a preventive maintenance and inspection program is implemented, there should be no problems.

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