Five Essential Steps for Material Handling Safety

Material handling equipment like cranes and hoists are expensive pieces of machinery. It requires the ample experience and knowledge to operate such equipment. 

If not handled carefully, they can cause a lot of damage – to the material as well as workforce handling them. To eliminate this risk, here are some general safety tips. One must follow them while using a crane or hoist for material handling. Let’s jump right to the points!

#1 Double Check The Surface

It’s important to check the site’s surface before starting the operation. The crane should be as stable as the ground on which it stands. The weather is an important factor here that cannot be ignored. The weather can affect the surface of the land. 

For example, a heavy rain shower can easily transform dry ground into a mud sheet. This is not an ideal combination for a crane’s operation! Thus, it is not enough to check the surface condition, but also the weather. If you’re working on concrete, you’re in luck – no worries there. 

#2 Check Power Wires And Liquid

Another important factor is something that isn’t at eye level but above us. It is power cables, pipelines, etc. When operating hoists and cranes, be sure to keep an eye out for these obstacles. 

A crane’s fuel supply is just as important as the power wires. So, before starting up crane or hoist, always check the fuel level and other liquids that may need to be replenished. This ensures that the material handling equipment will perform at its best. 

#3 Conduct Period Check Of Equipment

Material handling equipment causes many industrial accidents each year. The drop of the load, breakage of the chain, rupture of the brakes, etc. – hoist failure has been one of the main causes of such accidents. 

To reduce the risk of damage, it’s ideal to perform periodic checks of cranes and hoists. Checking equipment time-to-time helps to identify damages before they can cause any injusry and harm. 

#4 Commissioning Checks

Before using the hoists or crane for the first time, one must perform a “pre-commissioning check”. The aim of this check is to verify – under normal conditions of use – whether the equipment can carry out material handling or not. During this, you have to check the triggering of the safety devices (load limiters, etc.). Although, the manufacturer provides proof of suitability. But in case they don’t, a pre-commissioning check is recommended.

#5 Periodic Checks At 6 Months Or 1 Year

Like all lifting devices, hoists and cranes are subject to periodic general checks. This check is nothing but “an examination of the state of conservation” of the hoist. Its objective is to detect any serious issue that might lead to any mishappening with the machinery. 

In the periodic general check, there’s a test called a “functional test”. This test ensures the proper functioning of all safety features of a hoist or crane. In addition, the test also determines whether the hoist is capable of handling the required load or not. 

  • How Often Should These Checks Must Be Performed

For a hoist and cranes, these tests are required to be carried out every 6 months or every year depending on its use. Moreover, a fixed lifting device – which is permanently installed on support – is subject to an annual checkup. In case of mobile lifting cranes, such tests are necessary to be semi-annually (every 6 months).

Above lists are the top five safety tips for operating hoists and cranes. Other than these, here are some more general safety tips that can significantly reduce the risk of potential accidents – the ones that are caused from the mis operation of material handling equipment. 

  • The crane operator shall not carry more than the required persons inside the cabin of the crane.
  • Lifting accessories must not exceed their load capacity.
  • Never pull or tow loads at an inappropriate angle.
  • For any reason, mobile lifting equipment must never be driven at full speed.
  • It is not necessary for the crane operator to lift tightly connected loads over people.
  • Do not lift loads over the traffic routes or crowded spots.
  • The crane operator must keep an eye on the load throughout the transport process. 
  • Do not fasten a load outside the turning circle of the crane.
  • The operator must wear the necessary and prescribed personal protective equipment.
  • Loads must be lifted in a balanced way, to reduce the risk of fallout
  • If a hook is being used make sure the material is not loaded on the tip.
  • The tipper must strike the load correctly and use approved lifting equipment.
  • After completion of the crane work, it should be parked at a safe spot where no one is disturbed or endangered.
  • Have an eye for the environmental conditions. Who is walking around on the site? What are the imperfections? And so on.
  • Always check that the machine is working properly before you start its operation.
  • With every movement of the crane, look in the mirrors to prevent any harm or injury.
  • Never exit the machine without turning it off.
  • Never use the technical tools installations of the machine in a inappropriate manner, especially when working with automated cranes
  • Do not overload the crane, do not abuse it in any possible way.

Final Words

With the above tips in hand, one can easily reduce the risk of any unfortunate accidents that might occur due to mishandling of the hoists and cranes. Make sure to follow them sincerely so your industry doesn’t come under the risk of any potential damage. 

Are you planning to purchase material handling equipment? If yes, then check out the official store of Indef. But why Indef? Well, the answer is simple – they are the market leaders in hoisting solutions.
The company has been offering a wide range of superior quality equipment at pocket-friendly rates for years now. Plus, with their customization feature, customers have the ability to personalize their machinery depending upon their unique needs. To know more about their material handling tools,  now!