Skip to content

Most Common Heavy Lifting Hazards

Heavy Lifting

Heavy Lifting


Working with cranes poses many hazards, and unsafe working practices can result in injuries, fatalities and costly damage to materials. Therefore, it’s important you’re aware of the main hazards. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has posted several actions to prevent crane accidents:

  • Follow an effective preventive maintenance and inspection program
  • Value communication, planning, and supervisory controls when moving or disassembling cranes
  • Properly rig loads
  • Properly train operators and riggers
  • Ensure cranes are adequate to lift loads


The two most noticeable trends are rigger training and rental cranes. Other hazards include operator error, overloaded cranes, and lifting in poor weather conditions. Here are the three most common crane hazards to look out for.


  • Falling Loads

Falling loads are one of the most common and dangerous hazards as they are lethal and cause significant damage to buildings and property. Falling loads occur from operator incompetency, slipping, mechanical failure and two blocking. When operating with heavy machinery, workers need to be adequately trained and know how to operate safely. The risk of mechanical failure can be reduced if you ensure a competent person carries out routine inspections, maintenance and repairs at suitable intervals.


  • Electrical Hazards

According to OSHA, nearly 50 percent of overhead crane accidents are the result of machinery meeting a power source during operation. Electrical hazards involving cranes occur when a metal part of the crane meets a power source, resulting in electrocution for workers in the vicinity.


  • Crane Overload

When a crane is loaded over its operational capacity, it causes structural stress that damages the structure of the crane. This is when the operator swings, drags or suddenly drops the load, hoists loads above the cranes capacity, use defective components or side-load a boom.


While there are many safety tips to take note of, the most important precaution to take is ensuring that all workers are appropriately trained. Providing health and safety training ensures that the workplace is safe and each worker is competent to carry out their jobs efficiently and safely. This reduces the injuries, accidents and fatalities rate at the workplace and ensure that operations are not disrupted.


Best Practices in Heavy Transport and Lifting, Emphasizing Safety is a 3-day course held from 15 – 17 August 2018 (Kuala Lumpur), 22 – 24 October 2018 (Kuala Lumpur) and 29 – 31 October 2018 (Perth) designed for delegates to gain an essential understanding on safety, planning, calculating, costing and maintenance of heavy transport and heavy lifting. The course will cover key issues of the importance to know the application and limits of each equipment. For more information, please visit us at or contact us at


Interested to read more Heavy Lifting articles?  Check out How to Plan and Organise Lifting Operations Safely


Opus Kinetic believes that people are why organisations are successful, and giving people the knowledge to perform well at their job is integral for success. We pride ourselves as the premier provider of knowledge, offering acclaimed in-house trainings, and many others professional training courses spanning from various industries. Our training courses are well researched and updated with the latest industry trends. For more information on our professional training programs, you can visit us at

Verified by MonsterInsights