This year, GBCA is participating in OSHA’s Focus Four Campaign, providing resources to avoid incidents involving OSHA’s Focus Four hazards. This month, we’re featuring resources on Caught-in/Between hazards and this week’s toolbox talk is about working safely around cranes and material handling operations. Scroll down to read it. Click below to download it as a printable Toolbox Talk.


Working Safely Around Cranes and Material Handling Operations

Ask the following questions and give time for answers.

  • What are the hazards?
    • Struck-by loads or equipment, getting caught-in crane housing or counterweight, crane tipping, crushing
  • What are the results?
    • Broken bones and limbs, crushing injuries, internal damage, and death
  • What should we look for?
    • Guarded swing radius, stable footing, lift plan, overhead loads

Actual Incident:

In April 2016, an employee clearing debris was working next to a hydraulic crane. The employee was working near the right side of the crane in the crane operator’s blind spot. The crane operator began rotating the crane and the counterweight of the crane pushed the employee into the crane’s structure. The employee was crushed between the superstructure and frame of the crane resulting in fatal injuries.

How do we prevent these results?

  • Fully barricade area around moving superstructures during lifting or moving operations.
  • Never go into an area during lifting operations unless absolutely necessary and then only when the operator is fully aware of your presence.
  • Prior to lifting, ensure that all cranes are placed on firm footings. Utilize outriggers as per the manufacturer’s requirements/instructions.
  • Ensure that all material lifts are performed by qualified riggers.
  • Use a qualified signal person any time a crane is being utilized to lift loads.

Let’s talk about this job.

What operations could create a caught-in/between hazard?