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Crane Safety Warning

Crane-related fatalities prompt safety warning

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland urges employers and crane operators to take extra care after a spate of incidents in recent weeks.

Health and Safety Queensland and the Electrical Safety Office are investigating three crane incidents, all involving fatalities.

“No matter what line of work you do, everyone is entitled to a safe workplace whether you work in the city or country, indoors or outdoors,” Executive Director- Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Dr Simon Blackwood said.

“Some simple guidelines are available from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the Electrical Safety Office to help operators work safely.”

Dr Blackwood said those working near powerlines should:

  • identify the location of powerlines before starting work
  • always treat powerlines as live and hazardous
  • assess the risks specific to each location
  • maintain the required exclusion zone around powerlines (electricity can jump a gap)
  • seek safety advice from the person in control of the powerline if there is a risk of machinery contacting the powerline or entering the exclusion zone.

Dr Blackwood said crane operators were required to hold an appropriate high-risk licence for the crane being used and should also receive documented familiarisation training for the type and model of crane. Load charts must comply with the stability requirements in Australian Standard AS 1418.5 and show capacities for all operating zones of the crane.

All mobile cranes with a maximum rated capacity of more than three tonnes should be fitted with load indicators. Rated capacity limiters also should be provided on all mobile cranes manufactured since 2002 with a maximum safe working load of more than three tonnes.

Other safety guidelines include:

  • all mobile cranes should be provided with annual and 10 yearly major safety inspection certificates
  • all mobile cranes are to be provided with devices so the operator knows the radius of the load, that is, the boom angle and boom extension indicators
  • timber or other suitable support is to be placed under the outrigger feet
  • all mobile cranes of more than 10 tonne maximum safe working load are to have design registration and annual plant registration.

More information is available at:

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Last reviewed
9 March 2011
Last updated
5 November 2015

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