Sunday, September 13, 2020

Safety Manual For Overhead Crane Operators

Working with overhead crane is always a very important and risky job. This type of high importance and risk involved the operator’s position of responsibility required that you must be authorized to hold.  While working on such type of lifting job tasks, there are certainly various types of rules and regulations you must obey and responsibilities you must accept.

Carrying out the lifting activities for which country or state you are going to perform need particular rules and regulations and your account abilities when operating an overhead crane in UAE, see OSHAD CoP 34.0-OSHAD and Sector Regulatory Authorities-use of lifting equipment and lifting accessories. 

This (OCO) manual may be utilized as an essential tool in the overall training and authorization of an assigned overhead crane operator.

Both Employers and employees required to be aware that all cranes are varied and may have specific operating, safety, inspection and maintenance requirements.  You must have the manufacturers operating manuals (MOM) and are familiar with your particular crane and its functions.

Qualifications and Competency

 An employer shall be able to ensure and provide evidence that a crane operator (employee) is fully trained and competent to operate a crane before to authorizing the operator to operate a crane.

Permits Procedures

An operator for the crane operator must be essentially trained and tested before he can operate an overhead crane. After the passing tall required test and fulfilling other operator requirements (including demonstrating proficiency in running the crane), a permit to operate will be issued to the operator.  It is to be carried by the operator and or be access able upon request.

Sample Permit


(Company Name)

Operator’s Name:


Operator’s Number:


Authorized To Operate:

(Describe Type of Crane(s) Authorized)


(Explanation of Restrictions)

Date Issued:


Date Expiring:



By Issuing Authority: _______________________________________________


Operators Training

Training of all operators will include the following:

  • Scope of equipment and concerned attachments.
  • Plan, use and constraint of controls.
  • How to make daily checks using the checklists.
  • The restoration sequences, including pneumatic, hydraulic, and electrical sequences.
  • Crane’s start-up and shutdown procedures.
  • Procedures for an emergency shutdown.
  • General Operating Procedures (GOP).
  • All initial indicating and signalling procedures, including hand, radio, telephone signals or other devices, where needed.
  • Knowledge of OSHAD CoP 34.0-OSHAD and Sector Regulatory Authorities-use of lifting equipment and lifting accessories. 
  • Comprehensive Practice in operating the assigned equipment through the mechanical functions necessary to perform the required task.
  • Maximum rated capacity of the crane.

Training of all riggers will include the following:

  • Knowledge of Slings.
  • Knowledge of Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Maximum capacity of the crane.
  • Rigging operation procedures.
  • Organizational rules and regulations.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

When the employer carried out a personal protective equipment hazard assessment (as required in OSHAD-SF-Codes of Practice-CoP 2.0-Personal Protective Equipment-Version 3.1. and should include overhead cranes in their review.

An operator and any employee directing a lift must use the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed in the area.  If the top of the load is lifted to a height greater than 5 feet, then the load is treated an overhead hazard and head protection needs to be worn.

Conduct of Operators

A visual inspection is bound to that which can be made from a safe observation point.  Any fault must be reported to a supervisor ASAP. At the start of each shift during which a crane is operated, a comprehensive visual inspection must be conducted as per below criteria:  

Shift/Operator Inspection Checks

Description of Inspection Check Points:

1.Tagged Crane or Hoist

Inspect that crane or hoist is not tagged with an out-of-order sign-age.

2. Control Devices

Test run that all motions agree with Control Device Markings (CDM).

3. Brakes

Observe and inspect that all motions do not have excessive drift and that stopping distances are as normal.

4. Hook

Observe for destruction, cracks, nicks, scratch, cut, fracture of the throat opening, wear on a saddle or load-bearing point, and twist.  Refer to the manual provided by the original manufacturer of the crane.

5. Hook Latch

If a hook latch is needed, check for appropriate operation.

6. Wire Rope

Make checks and inspections for deteriorated wires, broken strands, kinks, and any damage to the rope structure.

7. Reeving

Check that the wire rope is appropriately reeved and that rope parts are not tangled about each other.

8. Limit Switches

Check that the Upper Limit Device (ULD) stops lifting motion of the hoist load block before striking any part of the hoist or crane.

9. Oil Leakage

Check for any hint of oil or another lubrication leakage on the crane and the floor area beneath the crane.

10. Unusual Sounds

Check and observe for any phenomenal sounds from the crane or hoist mechanism system while operating the crane or hoist.

11. Warning and Safety Labels

Check that warning indicators and other safety labels are not missing and that they are readable or understandable.

12. Housekeeping and Lighting

Check and inspect the area for accumulation of material, trip or slip hazards, and poor illumination.

A. A hoisting limit switch on a crane or hoisting device must not be utilized as an operating control unless the crane is also equipped with a backup limit switch.

B. A load must not be lowered below a point where less than 2 full wraps of wire rope remain on the hoisting drum.  If there is any doubt regarding the safety of a crane or hoisting means, the operator must promptly halt the crane, and report the condition making the doubt to the site supervisor.

C. In case of power failure, the operator must place all controllers in the “OFF” position.

D. When a crane operator leaves a crane unattended he must land attached load, place the controllers in the “OFF” state, and open the main control switch.  

E. Before closing the main switch, the operator must make sure all controllers are in the “off” position.  The main switch does not require to be opened on a pendant-controlled crane if the crane is left unattended for a short duration.

F. An operator must mere respond to signals from the employee directing the lift.  Except for an emergency stop signal, which must be adhered to when given from any employee.  The signals given to an operator must conform to the table below.

Table 1

Standard Hand Signals for Controlling Overhead and Gantry Cranes

  1. A crane operator must not carry a load over another employee.
  2. A crane must not be utilized to make a side pull (except where it has been particularly authorized by a qualified and competent person after making specific determinations).
  3. Compressed Gases (CG) can only be lifted by a cradle or enclosed type platform.
  4. A worker cannot ride a hoisting device, such as a magnet, hook, ball, or load.  The only exception is a work platform that meets all the requirements in the Construction Safety Standard as per OSHAD CoP 34.0-OSHAD Lifting & Digging Equipment.

When attaching or moving a load with the crane, by the operator, rigger, or hooker must make sure of all of the following key points:

  • The hoisting rope is free of twist and not wrapped around the load.
  • The load is attached to the load block hook using a sling or other appropriate and essential approved device.
  • The sling and load will clear all hurdles or obstructions.
  • The load is balanced, secured and safe before lifting the load more than a few inches.
  • Various lines are not twisted around each other.
  • The hook is brought over the load in a way to prevent or stop swinging.
  • There is no unusual acceleration or deceleration of the moving load.

The Inspection Procedure for Cranes

The inspection procedure for cranes in routine service and can be divided into two main categories:

  • Periodic inspections or observations are to be done monthly to quarterly or at intervals of 100 hours of use.
  • Scheduled inspections are done annually or at intervals of 500 hours of use.

All sorts of inspections cover topics highlighted in the standard or manufacturers guidelines.

Maintenance of the Crane Machinery

The employer must maintain a crane and its accessories in a stable and good condition that will not put on high risk to an operator or other workforce. A scheduled preventative maintenance program will be developed and the program will be focused on the manufacturer’s recommendations and for the application as reviewed by a qualified and competent person that may include third-party.

All of the following precautions must be taken before any adjustments or repairs are made on a crane:

  • The crane will be shifted or move to a location where it will cause less intrusion with other moving equipment on the track or rails and operations in the same particularly operative area.
  • All controllers will be put in the “OFF” point.
  • The main switch will be placed in the “OFF” position or “open” position and LOCKED OUT, except where power is essential to adjust or service the crane.
  • Warning signage or “out of order” signage will be installed at the Operator Control Station (OCS).
  • The lighting of 15 foot-candles intensity will be provided while maintenance work is conducted on the crane.

Remember, that a crane that has been adjusted or repaired must not be returned to normal operation until all guards have been replaced, locks removed by those who installed them or their assigned supervisor, safety devices reactivated, and the maintenance equipment removed.

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Safety Manual For Overhead Crane Operators

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