Using cranes is complex and dangerous. Every year there are injuries and deaths from work involving cranes. 

A crane is a plant item used to: 

  • raise or lower a load 
  • move a load horizontally. 

Cranes can be: 

  • fixed (tower, bridge, gantry, portal boom and vessel-mounted) 
  • mobile (slewing, non-slewing and vehicle loading). 

Some powered mobile plant, like telescopic handlers, can be used as cranes. 

As a person conducting a business or undertaking, you have a duty to keep workers and your workplace safe from the risks of cranes. Everyone must work together to ensure cranes are both safe to use and used safely.  

Choosing a crane 

Choosing the right crane is not just important for getting the job done. It also affects worker safety.  

Some cranes must be registered, and you need a high risk work licence to operate most. 

Before you choose a crane, discuss your needs with suppliers. They can help you find the best crane for your workplace and the work. 

These are some things to consider when choosing a crane: 

  • how old it is. 
  • how long you will keep it. 
  • how often you will use it. 
  • the conditions in which you will use the crane. 
  • the maximum loads the crane will bear. 
  • whether you need a crane only or you also need a trained and licensed crew. 

Some of the things to look for on the crane include: 

  • safe access points – ladders, footholds, steps and grabs rails 
  • seat design – comfort and back support 
  • visibility – mirror, window and windscreen design 
  • environmental controls – temperature control units to avoid worker heat stress. 

With any crane, you have work health and safety (WHS) duties and must identify and manage risks