Safe Use of Tower Cranes – Planning of the Lifting Operation

All lifting operations should be planned to ensure that they are carried out safely and that all foreseeable risks have been taken into account. Tower Crane Planning should be carried out by a competent person appointed for this purpose. In cases of repetitive or routine operations, this planning may only be necessary in the first instance, with periodic reviews to ensure that no factors have changed.

Planning should include the consideration of:

the load such as its characteristics and the method of lifting;

the selection of a suitable crane appropriate to the operation, ensuring that
adequate clearances are maintained between the load and the crane structure;

the selection of lifting gear, the weight of which should be taken into
account when assessing the load on the crane;

the position of the crane and the load before, during and after the operation;

the site of the operation, taking into account proximity hazards, space availability and suitability of the ground or foundation such as the allowable bearing capacity of the ground;
any necessary erection, alteration and dismantling of the crane;

the environmental conditions that exist or may occur at the site of the operation, which may necessitate stopping the operation when conditions are unsuitable; and
the effectiveness of communication among relevant parties, such as that
between the operator and the signaller(s).

Risk assessment

The risk assessment carried out by a competent person as part of the planning process should identify the hazards associated with the proposed lifting operation. The assessment should evaluate the risks involved and the nature and extent of any measures required to mitigate those risks. The competent person should also take into consideration hazards identified by the overall workplace risk assessments.
Generic risk assessments are unlikely to be sufficient since most workplaces have hazards that are unique to that situation and should be taken into account in the separate workplace specific assessment. The results of the risk assessment should be used in the preparation of the method statement for the workplace.
The risk assessment together with the manufacturer’s instructions should then be used to develop a detailed method statement for the lifting operation in the workplace.

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