Typically, we tend to think of cranes are machines that operate on a construction site, but in actuality, there are many industries that make use of cranes. One such industry is the maritime cargo transportation industry.
So, if you work at a dock or on a ship, you might be trained to use a crane. Vessel and cargo cranes can be just as dangerous as cranes that work on land, so learning how to operate them properly is the key to staying safe on the job.
No matter what your job in the shipyard industry, one of the most important documents that can help you stay safe is OSHA’s Guidelines for Workplace Safety and Health Programs in the Shipyard Industry. These guidelines include safety information about working with and around cranes. Much of this information is contained in section 1915.114 – Hoisting and Hauling Equipment. Some of the regulations found in this section include the following:
- Derricks and cranes that are used regularly on vessels on drydocks must be tested and certified by crane inspection professionals.
- All of the moving parts of the crane must be guarded.
- Employees must be blocked from entering areas within the swing radius of the crane.
You can read more OSHA shipyard regulations online here. This is not, however, the only document OSHA has published to help regulate the use of cranes on vessels and docks. OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and they’re responsible for enforcing regulations that help keep workers safe. They have a number of documents on the different types of cranes with regulations that must be followed no matter where the crane is located. These documents can be read online at the following locations:
- 1910.179 - Overhead and gantry cranes.
- 1910.180 - Crawler locomotive and truck cranes.
- 1917.45 - Cranes and derricks
Cargo cranes used on vessels and around docks are, in many cases, exposed to adverse weather conditions more frequently than cranes used inland. The saltwater from the ocean can be extremely harsh, and in some locations, cranes have to deal with sand damage as well. Therefore, cranes should be inspected and tested much more frequently than normal if they are located on vessels or docks. These cranes experience more wear and tear, meaning that parts wear out a lot faster. This document, published by the CDC in conjunction with the Construction Safety Council Explains mobile crane inspection requirements, and employers should refer to OSHA for information about inspection of permanent non-mobile cranes. You can also read bout ACFM inspections via this document from CONAM.
Every year, thousands of people are injured while at work. However, when equipment is properly inspected and employees are trained, the likelihood of accidents significantly decreases. If you are in charge of running a crane at work, you should be fully trained by your employer, and, even better, you should go through a certification process to ensure that you understand how to safely operate a crane. Cranes can be very dangerous, but at the same time, they are needed in the maritime industry not just to move cargo, but also to work on ships and drydocks. So, if you must use a crane, make sure you use one safely. If you have been injured in a crane accident contact on a cargo vessel a crane accident attorney today.