Construction work requires lifting and moving large, heavy loads and that requires rigging. There are many safety issues to be considered before, during, and after a lift to ensure the safety of the operators and the workers in proximity to the activity.
Before the lift: Calculate the weight of the load, find the center of gravity of load as accurately as possible. Determine the best method to attach the load and select the rigging equipment you will use for the job. All rigging equipment must be inspected for wear, corrosion, nicks, cracks, heat damage, and distortion. Do not use slings, eyebolts, shackles, or hooks that have been cut, welded or brazed. Remove defective or damaged rigging from service. Do not use manila rope for rigging.
Setting up the lift: Wear gloves when handling wire rope. Avoid pinch points. Keep wire rope lubricated to prevent rust and dirt from weakening it. Avoid bird caging or kinking wire rope. Don't drag rope over obstacles or out from under loads. Avoid side-loading lifts. Use padding to protect the rope and slings from sharp edges on loads. Make sure shackle pins are in place and secure. Be sure hook safety latches are engaged prior to giving the okay to lift. Never overload. Lift the load a few inches off the ground to test rigging and balance.
During the lift: Keep co-workers clear of suspended loads. make use of a tag line to control the load. Be aware of overhead electrical lines. If you are signaling, maintain eye contact with the operator, use proper crane signals, and don't do anything that will divert your attention. Stop all hoisting operations any time you have doubts about safety.
Maintenance: Store rigging equipment away from mud and moisture. Inspect rigging equipment on a regular basis for wear and damage. If you have the opportunity to take a rigging safety course, take it.
Remember that cranes are only as reliable as their rigging components. Proper selection, inspection, use and maintenance of rigging equipment are essential.
Anyone who has worked on a construction site is at least familiar with heavy equipment. Dump trucks, cranes, backhoes, bulldozers etc. There are two groups of people who must work together to ensure safety around heavy equipment: operators and non-operators.
You may think that since you're not in the driver's seat you don't have much control over heavy equipment safety, but you do! Pay attention to back-up alarms. Always allow space for equipment failure, operator error, or your error. This means that you need to keep extra space between yourself and the machine so you won't be injured if something goes wrong. Respect danger zones and blind spots; try to work only where the operator can see you. Don't hitch a ride on a piece of heavy equipment. NEVER ride on a load, in a bucket, or on an attachment.
If you're the operator you have a responsibility to work safely just as your co-workers have a responsibility to watch out for heavy equipment. A careful operator does a daily equipment inspection. Inspect all safety devices and make sure they are working properly. Test the horn, lights, windshield wipers and back-up alarm. A safe operator NEVER starts work with an equipment defect that could cause an accident! Bigger equipment has bigger blind spots; get a spotter if necessary. Never leave a suspended load unattended. When climbing on and off machine always use the grab rails and steps. Be sure to keep grease and mud off the steps of the equipment and off of your boots. You'll be less likely to slip if the stairs are clean. Remember always to shut off the engine before refueling.
SAFETY REMINDER: ANYTIME DIGGING EQUIPMENT IS IN USE MAKE SURE THE AREA HAS BEEN CHECKED FOR BURIED UTILITIES.
Being in oilfield construction, Anaya Welding & Lease offers crane services. Cranes make it possible for us to lift heavy items to high places. The truth is, we would be less productive and safety would be compromised if these lifting machines were not available.
In addition to the advantages they provide, cranes also present many potential safety hazards. A crane operator is responsible for operating the crane in a safe manner. There are several things a crane operator must keep in mind:
- Read the operator's manual and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
- Inspect the crane daily and keep up with preventative maintenance.
- Establish a lift plan before you use a crane.
- Do not allow yourself to become distracted in any way while you're at the controls.
- Use the crane's outriggers at all times.
- Do not allow loads to pass over workers or endanger their safety.
- Never allow anyone to ride the load or hook.
- Barricade the swing radius of the crane.
- Use a tag line to guide and control the load.
- Never tamper with safety devices.
- Always look up to check for overhead power lines before you move the crane.
- Maintain the required distance when working around power lines.
- Assume that every power line is hot.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher in the operator's cab.
- Secure the crane at the end of your shift.
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is designed to provide you with the proper procedures for handling and working with hazardous materials. An MSDS provides information you need to protect yourself, your co-workers, and the environment. Before you work with a new chemical or product, review the necessary MSDSs and make sure you understand them. Employers are required to label hazardous chemicals and make an MSDS available to you for each chemical you may be exposed to at your workplace.
It is important that you know where the MSDSs are located at each jobsite. MSDSs must be readily available to you at your work area in case of an emergency. They may be kept in a binder, in a file, on CD-ROM, on microfiche, or they may be obtained through the Internet. Ask your supervisor if you are not sure where and how to find them. It's also important that you learn how to read MSDSs. They won't be of any help to you if you don't understand what they are telling you. Again, your supervisor is the best person to talk to about training programs and tutorials.
Material Safety Data Sheets are the most comprehensive sources of information about each chemical. MSDSs give the chemical name of the substance, as well as the manufacturer's name, address, and emergency phone number. They provide specific information about each material including exposure limits, required personal protective equipment (PPE), health effects, and fire and explosion hazards. MSDSs also instruct you regarding specific procedures such as proper storage and disposal, first aid measures, and how to deal with spills and leaks.
MSDSs are often presented in different formats, but you can rely on them to:
- Be written in English (although they may also be available in other languages).
- Identify the chemical product and manufacturing/importing company.
- Describe the chemical's composition, ingredients, physical properties, stability, and reactivity.
- List potential hazards, toxicity, required PPE, and ecological considerations.
- List first-aid measures and fire-fighting measures.
- List instructions on handling, storage, disposal, and transport.
- Describe possible routes of entry, such as inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption.