In the last 3 months, MOM conducted series of nearly 1,000 surprise worksite inspections (the so-called ‘Operation Sky Hawk II’) and uncovered a total of 852 workplace Safety violations. They have issued fines of up to $200K and 16 stop work orders; while some findings are still in process of rectification and verdict.
In those operations, the MOM focus area of inspection was mainly on the working at height / falling hazards; and construction sites contributed about 52% of the total non-compliances (Source: MOM statistics 27 May 2010).
Subsequently, looking forward for the next 3 months (Aug – Oct 2010), MOM will focus on the area of SAFE CRANE OPERATIONS.
I believe this aspect is very much relevant into our company operations.
Thus, on behalf of the EHS department, I would like to share below points for your considerations and necessary actions.
Nevertheless, if you have any practical advice / comment, pls kindly share it with us, we appreciate it and would definitely like to listen.
29 GOOD PRACTICES of SAFE CRANE OPERATIONS
- No crane shall be used or operated unless it has a valid Lifting Machine certificate and valid Registered Crane operator to operate.
- Lifting and crane operation, slinging and signaling shall be performed by appointed, competent and trained persons
- No crane operation is permitted unless it is carried out under immediate supervision of a qualified engineer and a competent lifting supervisor.
- Ensure RA and SWP are available and brief to site personnel (Record to be maintained).
- Bystanders should be 6 meters or more away from the load at all times.
- Crane Operator shall update the ‘Crane Log Book’ regularly once the operations are completed.
- Never operate the crane with anyone standing under the boom or the load at any time.
- Never ride on the boom, boom hook or load line.
- For mobile crane, outriggers shall be fully extended at all times during operations except when travelling.
- Only operate the crane within its load and working area (never exceed winch or crane ratings).
- Reduce loads to allow for factors such as wind, ground conditions, operating speeds, and the effect of freely suspended loads.
- When the crane is in operation, pay attention to it at all times and do not engage in any distracting activities (e.g. receiving phone call/ text message, reading newspaper, sleeping, eating or drinking).
- Respond to any “stop” signal from the appointed lifting team (immediately).
- If you have to leave the crane unattended, you must first land the load, disengage the main power source, set any locking devices, put all controls in the off or neutral position, secure the crane against accidental travel (i.e., use chock blocks), and stop the engine.
- There shall be no crane operation within the railway protection zone unless prior approval has been obtained from LTA.
- Plan your lifts carefully (refer to the Lifting Plan), taking into account the presence of power lines, bystanders, overhead obstructions, and solid surface support; position the crane so that it is impossible for it to come into contact with any obstructions.
- Do not operate the crane controls when your hands are oily or greasy (it’s preferable to wear gloves); and ensure no muddy boots / obstructions on the crane accelerator and brakes.
- Eliminate load swing by positioning the boom tip directly over the centre of the load before lifting.
- First check the safety of the load by barely lifting if off the ground.
- When lifting a load, keep it as close to the ground as possible.
- Never use the boom or the winch to drag a load.
- Never lift a load you cannot see.
- Never leave a suspended load unattended.
- Never extend or retract booms out of sequence (they must be retracted and extended from largest to smallest).
- Never lift if you are in doubt; ask to clarify your reservations.
- Crane shall be rested firmly on even ground. PE or appointed site engineer shall inspect the ground condition for safe traveling and operations
- Do not operate the crane during inclement weather or electrical storms or high winds or when suitable lighting is not available.
- The wire rope should be inspected frequently because it is often the weak link in crane safety; wire rope will fail if it is worn, misused, overloaded, damaged, or improperly maintained.
- Crane hooks and booms should be inspected periodically to ensure that they are in sound condition (crane hooks are designed to lift a specific rated load, and this rated load only applies to new and unused hooks; age, environmental conditions and other factors alter a hook’s ability to handle a load).