Posted on: 29 June 2021
Bridge cranes, also known as overhead cranes, have a wide range of applications in industrial facilities. They move heavy items from one docking station to another in a warehouse. Bridge cranes also transport bulky items to storage areas and aid in assembly tasks. If you are renting a bridge crane for warehouse operations, you need to install the crane correctly to reduce hazards, enhance efficiency and protect against premature failure. Note the following tips when installing a bridge crane in your warehouse.
1. Assess the installation site
Warehouses are busy facilities with various machinery and equipment for shipment and product handling. Therefore, you need to assess the installation location before bringing in the bridge crane. Is there adequate space for the installation of the crane? Are there other types of equipment, such as trucks, that are in the crane's way?
Prepare the site for the installation of the overhead crane. Mark the area you will use for the rigging operations. Note that an overhead crane may need to be brought in by a trailer. Therefore, the floors in your facility should be able to handle the weight of the trailer truck and bridge crane. Therefore, assess the flooring condition and note down its load ratings before renting or purchasing an overhead crane.
2. Plan for the runway
Runways provide the track on which overhead cranes are fitted. Runways enable loads to be lifted, lowered or transported from one end to another. Crane runways have to be installed on a supporting structure. This could be the roof, ceiling or a standalone steel structure. If your building can handle the weight of the overhead crane, you can install the runway on it. Therefore, determine the ceiling's load rating to determine whether they can support the crane. If not, installing the equipment on it can lead to the collapse of the roof.
If your ceiling cannot handle the crane's weight, you can install a freestanding steel structure. This structure comprises columns, headers, hangers and bridges. Therefore, instead of attaching to the ceiling, the crane sits on the freestanding runway. One advantage of a freestanding runway is its flexibility. You can get a custom-engineered structure that meets the rigging specifications. Also, if you wish to save money on runway construction, you can choose a semi-freestanding configuration.
3. Check for potential hazards
Using overhead cranes in an indoor setting may present various safety hazards. If an accident occurs, it can expose workers to injuries. With over 240 serious injury claims every year, crane accidents can paralyse operations in your warehouse and put a strain on your finances. Therefore, before installing an overhead crane, check for the following potential causes of hazards.
- Contact with power sources
- Collision with other heavy equipment
- Falling loads due to mechanical failure
- Crane overload
A bridge crane moves from one end to another along the runway. If employees are working below it, they can get injured by falling loads. Therefore, ensure no persons are working or walking below the crane's path when the equipment is in operation. Keep trucks and other equipment away from the rigging site to avoid collision with moving loads.
4. Hire an experienced operator
Operator competency plays a critical role in promoting rigging safety. If your operator lacks experience, they can rig loads wrongly, miscalculate load ratings or mishandle the controls, causing accidents in your warehouse. Therefore, hire an experienced operator, preferably from your crane rental company. The operator should be able to accomplish the following tasks:
- Properly load and offload the crane
- Use the right rigging equipment for different loads
- Inspect the crane before each rig
- Maintain the equipment and watch for signs of mechanical failure
The operator should also be attentive during rigging to avoid accidents and protect other workers from crane injuries.
Consider the above tips when installing a bridge crane in your warehouse. If you need help to set up the equipment, contact a crane contractor.Share