A Rundown of Overhead Crane Hazards

If your company is going to be taking on a large construction project in the near future, it’s going to be nearly impossible for you to do it without an overhead crane. Overhead cranes are an absolute necessity on construction sites. They can be used to move building materials around and to lift heavy loads high up into the sky. Nevertheless, if you’re not careful with one, an overhead crane can also make your construction site very dangerous.

Overhead Crane Hazards

There are all kinds of potential hazards that you’re going to face when you’re using an overhead crane. Just about all of these hazards can be avoided so that you don’t sustain any property damage, injuries, or even deaths on your construction site. You just need to educate yourself on what to look out for and make it a point to minimize the safety risks on your site. Check out some of the most common overhead crane hazards below.

Electrical Hazards

Studies on the crane industry have suggested that about 50 percent of the overhead crane accidents that take place involve electrical hazards. Since overhead cranes extend high above the ground, there is a chance that they could accidentally get tangled up with a power line and cause a catastrophe. If you’re going to be using an overhead crane anywhere in the general vicinity of power lines, it’s essential for you to have a clear plan in place as far as how you’re going to avoid them. That starts with staying away from them whenever possible, and it includes making slow, methodical movements when your crane is close to power lines. You should even go the extra mile and have the power company in the area shut off those power lines before working around them.

Falling Loads

As we mentioned earlier, overhead cranes are routinely used to transport heavy materials from one point to another on a construction site. These materials are far too heavy for the average person to pick up. They’re also too heavy for smaller pieces of equipment to move around. With that in mind, you can imagine how much damage a load can do if it slips and falls from a crane. It could easily crush people, equipment, tools, and more when it reaches the ground. It’s important for those companies using overhead cranes to secure loads properly before lifting them. It’s also important to perform the proper maintenance on any lifting equipment that’s going to be used on a construction site in conjunction with a crane.


Prior to lifting a heavy load, a crane operator should always take a look at what the lifting capacity is for an overhead crane. This will give them a good idea of how much weight a crane can pick up. They should also strategically position a crane to be able to pick up a heavy load without tipping over. If a crane operator attempts to lift a load that’s too heavy for a crane or if they try to move a load quickly when a crane isn’t stable on the ground, it could cause the entire crane to tip over. Overloading a crane can be avoided when crane operators are careful about what they’re doing and have the proper training in place to handle a heavy load.

High Winds and Other Weather Conditions

Overhead Crane Safety Hazards

As a general rule of thumb, overhead cranes—and any other types of cranes really—shouldn’t be operated on days when the winds are whipping around. Wind can make a crane unstable and cause it to tip over in some cases. It can also cause heavy loads to sway and increase the chances of them slipping and falling to the ground. There are other weather conditions that can wreak havoc on overhead cranes, too. Rain, for example, can make the ground wet and slippery and affect a crane. If the weather conditions aren’t ideal, an overhead crane shouldn’t be turned on and used on a construction site.

As you can see, there are lots of different overhead crane hazards to consider when using an overhead crane on a construction site. You should keep them all in mind when you’re using an overhead crane. You should also make sure you have a well-maintained overhead crane from a reputable crane company on the premises. It’ll give you more confidence in your crane’s ability to do its job.

Astro Crane can set you up with the right overhead crane for your next construction project. Call us at 978-429-8666 to find out about the cranes we currently have in our fleet.