Lifting operations are a very intricate process which when not done properly may lead to devastating consequences such as damage to property and injury or even loss of life. Although the process may seem simple – pick up the material and set it over – it is far easier said than done. A single operation may take several man hours and a huge amount of brainstorming among engineers, project managers, operators, estimators, signal men, and many more. This being said, one of the most essential aspects of the entire process is the planning stage.
Why Plan a Lifting Operation?
Planning a lifting operation is very essential for one main reason – variables. Every project or operation is different from the other; what may have worked last time may not work the next time simply because there are several variables involved, and these variables may differ in several aspects as well. Some of these variables include: site location, ground condition, environment, proximity hazards, power and water lines, suspended loads, and several others.
Site Visit and Work Designation
Before a team is able to plan a lifting operation, a site visit is necessary to make certain that all essential information are gathered. This will give the team a full understanding of the requirement to accomplish the job efficiently, effectively and safely. The plan should also set out clearly the step by step process of the operation, including who are involved and the designated responsibilities of each personnel. Additionally, all foreseeable risks should be addressed in the plan to ensure the safety of all people involved.
Appropriate Equipment and Accessories
Included in the plan is determining the appropriate crane and equipment for the operation. Some of the things to be considered in picking the right crane are: the capabilities and limitations of the crane, the method of work it can undertake, the safe working load, outrigger loadings, and the dimensions, weigh and overall set-up. Safety devices such as shut down valves, slewing restrictions, spark arrestors and anti-collision lights will also have to be fitted if needed.
Additionally, the right accessories that suite the operation will be determined. Some of the considerations to be included are: number or accessories needed, compatibility, suitability, accessibility, working load limits, and more.
Limitations and Reviews
Another essential aspect to be included in the plan is the limitations of the team. Do you have sufficient manpower? Are your operators well-trained and competent? Do you have all the necessary equipment and accessories? It is essential to know what you can and cannot do to avoid stretching your resources too thinly, because this can compromise safety.
Also, the plan should be reviewed every now and then to make sure that things are going accordingly. Since the operation is quite complex, a review allows the team to make changes they see fit for certain circumstances that occur as the operation is being carried out.
Planning a lifting operation is a must. At Hill Crane Service, our seasoned engineers and designers will recreate the entire project or operation within a 3D computer environment to determine everything that needs to be done, including every equipment/accessory needed for the success of the process. We also consider different lift scenarios and come up with cost effective solutions suitable for your project. Aside from advanced lifting operation planning, we also offer several other services. Give us a call or browse through our website for more information.