Report highlights biggest hazards for crane operators


Dive Brief:

  • The two most common situational risks directly causing injuries in the crane industry were falls from height and being struck by a falling object, according to a recent survey of crane operators and inspectors.
  • The most common systemic risks contributing to injuries, however, were heat illness and fatigue, respondents told the National Safety Council and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators Foundation.
  • Three out of four respondents said they were likely or very likely to be exposed to heat illness on the job, and 58% said the same about fatigue, while 55% said they were likely to be exposed to a falling object.

Dive Insight:

Seventy-five percent of respondents worked in construction. When it comes to jobsite safety practices for crane operators, the majority of respondents said supervisors can identify safety issues and encourage reporting near misses.

All of the hazards respondents highlighted affect both those operating the crane and others on the jobsite, and heat stress and fatigue contributed to personal and jobsite injury at a high rate.

Heat stress, fatigue major contributors to jobsite injury

Breakdown of situational risks and systemic factors that caused operators or other jobsite personnel injury in the last two years

Heat safety is a national topic, especially for those working in the elements. In late March, Phoenix adopted a heat safety ordinance to ensure outdoor workers had access to water, shade and breaks during the looming Arizona summer. Codifying protections for workers in Phoenix was only necessary, however, in the continued lack of a national standard.

The report highlighted that four in five respondents said heat illness is a likely exposure, and almost a quarter said it was a contributor to on-site incidents — the highest in both areas. This means heat exposure is both the most common hazard and the most common contributor to injury on the job.

“[Heat stress] was the most common contributor to injuries and participants consider it their most likely exposure,” the report read. “It is recommended that employers and training providers take immediate action to control these hazards since they are both likely exposures and top contributors to injuries.”



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