Codes of Safe Practices




1.   Always control the travel of cranes so as to avoid collision with persons, material, and equipment.

2.   Always carry the boom in line with the direction of motion.

3.   Lash or otherwise restrain the empty hook so that it cannot swing freely.

4.   When rotating the crane, avoid sudden stops.  Always maintain a rotational speed such that the load does not swing out beyond the radius at which it can be safely controlled.

5.   Always use tag or restraint lines where rotation of the load is hazardous.

6.   Never operate cranes with wheels or tracks off the ground or working surface unless properly bearing on outriggers.

7.   Test the brakes each time a load approaching the rated load is handled by raising the load a few inches and applying the brakes.

8.   Never lower the load or the boom below the point where less than two full wraps of rope remain on grooved drums and three full wraps on ungrooved drums.

9.   Only one crane is to be used to lift a load.

10.Always keep open lights, flames or spark-producing devices at a safe distance while refueling the crane.

11.Never load a crane, derrick, or hoist beyond its rated capacity.

12.Attach the load to the hook by means of sling or other suitable or effective means.

13.Inspect slings before each use, and make sure they are free of kinks or twists.

14.Never wrap the hoist cable around the load.

15.When moving the load, the individual directing the lift should see that:

  1. The crane is leveled for work being performed and the wheels blocked where necessary.
  2. The load is well secured and properly balanced in the sling or lifting device before it is lifted a few inches.
  3. All individuals assisting in the lift are wearing proper personal protective equipment including gloves and hard hats.
  4. Employees never stand under the load.

16.When a load of any kind is to be suspended for any considerable length of time, make sure the brake is firmly applied.

17.Never leave cranes unattended while the load is suspended unless the load is suspended over water, a barricaded area, or blocked up or otherwise supported from below during repairs or emergency.

18.Employees are prohibited from standing under any suspended loads at any time.



1.   Conduct all lifting operations so that no one would be injured if there were an equipment failure.

2.   Make sure the hook has a safety latch that closes the throat of the hook.

3.   If the latch swings freely across the throat of the hook, then the hook has been stretched and must be replaced before the hoist can be used.

4.   Read the ANSI warning and operational labels on the control panel.

5.   Never exceed the crane’s lifting capacity.

6.   Determine the weight of the load by checking shipping or manufacturer.

7.   If the weight of the load can not be accurately determined, compare the load to a similar load lifted in the past, get a second estimate from an experienced coworker, however, do not exceed 50 percent of the lifting capacity of the crane when lifting an estimated load.

8.   Select the proper rigging gear that is within the Safe Working Load (SWL) of the web sling or wire rope being used.

9.   Inspect the rigging gear prior to use.  For wire rope slings, never exceed six or more broken wires within one lay of strand length. The wire rope is to be discarded.

10.Cranes are designed for vertical lifts only.  Side pulling may result in hoist and crane breakdown or collapse.

11.Sling angles are very important.  Never exceed 45 degrees, as this will put too much tension on the sling.

12.When lifting, slowly raise the hoist to take the slack out of the slings. Then raise the load a few inches to check the rigging and the stability of the load. Then lift the load in one smooth motion.


14.Do not pass a load over coworkers or allow anyone to walk under the load.

15.Never operate a crane if you cannot see the load or the entire crane.

16.Do not leave the hoist block low enough for someone to walk or drive into.

17. Wear all appropriate personal protective equipment, including, hard hats, eye protection, hearing protection, and gloves when required.