Toolbox Meeting 1 -- DANGER UNDER BOOMS

Some say that coming events cast shadows before them. The idea is based on every event being the result of a cause. This idea has direct application to safety. Every accident has a cause, which projects shadows and gives warnings of possible results. Such shadows usually can be seen if we watch for them. For instance, the continuous performance of a job in an improper manner causes incidents that foretell possible trouble. This is especially true in the swing area of cranes.

Accidents involving persons who work or walk under crane booms and buckets are infrequent, but when they happen, they are often fatal.

Even if the crane is in excellent condition and is being run by a first-rate operator, it is never wise for workers to be exposed needlessly. Frequently, the victim is a laborer doing an assigned job which has nothing to do with the crane. The rule is simple: "Don't stand, walk or work under crane booms, buckets or suspended loads."

In a crowded work situation, the swing area should be roped off or barricaded. Signs should be posted to keep unauthorized persons out of the hazardous areas. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to post a watchman or traffic controller. In concreting operations, it is especially necessary to keep all persons away from the vicinity of the bucket travel. A chunk of semi-hardened concrete frequently drops from a bucket and can produce a serious injury even if the victim is wearing a hard hat. Stay clear when the crane operator is landing the bucket and during the take away.

1. Are our crane operations always designed to minimize the swing of booms and buckets over work areas?
2. Are personnel adequately warned about crane operations in the area?

For more information read section 12 - Material Handling - in the Elevator Industry Field Employees' Safety Handbook