Checklist: How to prevent a crane accident?

Lifting and transportation are activities with a high risk profile. More than once, newspapers report about accidents during lifting and transport operations. But why does this happen?

During lifting and transportation, several disciplines with different levels of expertise have to work closely together. Any gaps in this cooperation could result in potentially high risks. As an independent engineering and consultancy firm, can often act as a third party Subject-Matter-Expert in these types of projects. Of course preferably upfront, where we can review the lifting and transportation plans at the start of the project, to make sure all risks are known and mitigated. This can also include on-site assistance during project execution.

But unfortunately, accidents do happen. We can investigate the accident to find the root cause. In these types of investigations, we always use a checklist to make sure we collect all necessary data that could give insight in what went wrong. But we also use this checklist during investigations upfront, to determine what could potentially go wrong.

And as it is better to be safe than sorry, we would now like to share this checklist on how to prevent a crane accident also with you.

If you would like to learn more about lift plans and avoiding accidents, take a look at our Masterclasses at Eager.Academy. Did you know we can also provide in-company masterclasses, tailor-made for your specific business situation?

Checklist: how to prevent a crane accident?

1. Data Lifting Load

  • Mass & Center of gravity (CoG) on drawing
  • Dimensions on drawing
  • Location of lifting points, dimensioned with respect to CoG, on drawing

2. Crane Data

  • Crane(s) specified (make, type, configuration, boom length, (superlift) counterweight, number of reeving parts, etc.)
  • Position of crane dimensioned to fixed point
  • Sufficient space for crane and outriggers
  • Crane can travel to position
  • Allowable wind speed for lifting the specific load

3. (Dis)assembly of the crane

  • Auxiliary crane and load carrying vehicles can travel to position
  • Sufficient space available for (dis)assembly of boom, including space for auxiliary crane and supply vehicles

4. Hook-up

  • Rigging can be attached and detached in a proper way
  • Lifting points are reachable in a safe manner for attaching and detaching rigging
  • Rigging fits to the lifting points
  • Rigging fits to the crane hook
  • Rigging is of sufficient capacity

5. Lifting

  • Sufficient space for delivery of the load below the hook
  • Sufficient crane capacity during lifting, booming in or out and slewing
  • Sufficient space for auxiliary crane for superlift counterweight handling
  • Superlift counterweight tray is free from ground for slewing

6. Soil loading

  • Access road sufficient level and compacted
  • Crane location sufficient level and compacted
  • Maximum occurring ground bearing pressure (GBP) below allowable and on drawing
  • Additional crane mats (dimensions) specified
  • Sufficient GBP below wheeled superlift carrier path

7. Clearances

  • Sufficient clearance from load to surroundings during lifting, booming in or out and slewing
  • Sufficient clearance from load and rigging to crane boom during lifting
  • Sufficient lifting height
  • Sufficient clearance from (superlift) counterweight to surroundings during slewing
  • Sufficient clearance from crane upperworks (boom, superlift backmast or boom guying systems, etc) to surroundings during slewing
  • Sufficient clearance from rigging to load including during tailing operation

8. Miscellaneous

  • Additional (site specific) requirements
  • Drawing header filled in correctly (number, project name, client name, etc)


Are you looking for a Subject-Matter-Expert for your heavy lifting or special transport? Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your project requirements.


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Consultancy / Design & Construction

Our aim is to optimize your project team’s results. With our exclusive knowledge of lifting and transportation we eliminate and manage risks. This is how we reach our collective goal: Zero Accidents, Zero Incidents.



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