Safety is a driving factor in any industry for several reasons. Safe practices in place ensure workers can perform their needed job functions, without injury, and get home to their families. A good safety record is also important for businesses that seek to provide goods and services in a competitive environment. The customer, supplier relationship needs to function with the same safety goals. The customer looks for a supplier that shows a history of safety in action that results in low or zero recordable incidents. The customer also looks for other safety factors that measure this performance and form this safety standard.
Crane industry safety measures include the use of NCCCO approved hand signals, OSHA standards of safety, standards as set forth in crane companies health and safety operating manuals, and ongoing crane safety training classes. These crane safety measures, when followed, help to ensure employees aren't hurt.
Crane safety measures also ensure materials and equipment are safely handled. The service supplier safety record needs to remain on a positive and healthy track. Communication, on an industrial crane job site, is of the utmost importance to the culture of safety. Hand signals are an effective way to make this communication understood between the crane operator and the rigger.
Hand signals used in crane operations, ensure the crane operator is making the correct movements and adjustments as communicated by the certified crane rigger. With established and universal hand signals, the potential for human error is greatly reduced. There are potential hazards on any commercial and industrial construction site involving crane operation. These hazards include power lines, other trades, high decibel noises, heavy equipment, and barriers in place to define a working pathway. The use of hand signals and other required methods allow the crane operator to make and guide the lifted object along the correct path and at a safe distance. The operator and rigger must have a clear line of sight to one another so that hand signal communication is not unclear. A misinterpreted signal has the potential of leading to serious implications.
As with many things studied and used, remembering what we've learned tends to be a little leaky at times. True Steel has hand signal charts in key locations to help riggers and signalers use the correct communication. These charts are helpful when utilizing crane safety communication in the field. This also ensures that hand communication used by the rigger effects the desired movements by the operator. This results in movements that correlate exactly with the established crane safety lift plan. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is also an important safety regulatory agency. OSHA sets a high standard for crane safety and issues general operating safety standards in the construction and occupation industry.
The requirements set forth by OSHA originate from standards and regulations of the United States Federal government, Department of Labor. For cranes, OSHA considers requirements for design, crane inspections, testing methods, maintenance and operations.
Operators are required to pass an examination to operate the crane which is why True Steel utilizes personnel that are NCCCO crane certified. The examinations are written and practical and are specific to the type of crane that will be operated. Under OSHA guidelines, a certified operator doesn't also mean they are certified to be a rigger as well. There are actually different levels of rigger certifications and ultimately the employer is responsible to determine whether the rigger can perform the required task on a specific lift.
A qualified rigger does not mean they are capable or have the experience and training for every lift. Crane projects can present many unique requirements for various rigging configurations. True Steel has qualified job site superintendents to assess which rigging personnel has the experience for each individual circumstance. OSHA does not require riggers to be certified by an accredited organization, however, True Steel often uses NCCCO training classes and other third parties to make sure personnel performing rigging duties are 100 percent trained and prepared for each unique rigging project.
The True Steel health and safety operating manual is also an important and practical resource for educating and training our field personnel. The operating manual is an important document that serves to train new employees, retrain and update existing employees. It is also a document that shows our customers and vendors the procedures and policies we have in place. This is important because True Steel and our industry partners need assurance that a healthy and safe workplace is being promoted and implemented throughout all crane, rigging and associated field activities. True Steel places safety in crane operations at a very high level or importance. The culture of crane safety is evident all throughout mobilization, demobilization, operating and rigging activities. True Steel is striving to perform at the highest standards of crane and rigging safety practices that is suggested and required in the crane and rigging industry.