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Why Is Crane Maintenance So Important?

September 30, 2023

Crane maintenance is an essential part of keeping your workforce safe, plus ensuring productivity can be maximised. 

As with owning and operating any kind of machinery, crane maintenance must be performed regularly, or as soon as any problems are detected.

Some of the most common maintenance issues with cranes include broken chain links, worn pads, rusted parts, bent hooks, dry ropes, cracked or loose parts along with worn brakes. However, these are far from exhaustive.

Whatever faults your crane may develop over time, here is the importance of spotting such issues before they have a chance to cause a problem, by carrying out regular crane maintenance. 

elevator machine with steel ropes 2022 03 04 06 32 46 utc from Metreel

What Does Crane Maintenance Consist Of?

Inspections – Regular inspections of cranes and related equipment to identify any problems or potential issues.

Lubrication – Applying lubricants to moving parts to reduce wear and extend the life of the crane.

Cleaning – Regular cleaning of cranes and related equipment to remove dirt, dust, and debris that can cause damage or impede performance.

Replacing worn or damaged parts – Replacing parts that have worn out or are no longer functioning properly.

Testing and calibration – Testing and calibrating crane components and systems to ensure proper operation and performance.

Safety check – A safety check of all crane components and systems to ensure that they meet safety standards and regulations.

Training – Regular training for crane operators and maintenance personnel to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to properly maintain and operate the crane.

+ Anything else recommended by your crane manufacturer or your applicable government’s health and safety guidance. 

Carrying Out Machinery Maintenance Is The Law

The maintenance of machinery is a requirement of the HSE under the PUWER regulations.

Specifically, all equipment used within a workplace must be ‘maintained in an efficient state, in efficient order and in good repair’. 

The guidance states that the nature and frequency of the repairs should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Though, other influencing aspects include the frequency of use, the intensity of use, the operating environment, user knowledge and also, and the general risk the machinery poses in terms of health and safety failures. 

Ultimately, if an employer is found to not be maintaining machinery this would have serious legal implications for that business. 

warehouse fall from Metreel
Close Up on Red Hard Hat with Blurred Injured Factory Workers as a Background

Reducing The Risk Of Workplace Injuries 

The reason why machine maintenance is the law is that it reduces the chances someone may suffer a serious injury or death while at work. 

In terms of cranes specifically, the following is a rundown of the most common accidents sustained during 2000-2009:

  • Electric shock
  • Worker falls
  • Worker struck or caught between equipment
  • Worker struck by crane load
  • Crane tipped over
  • Worker crushed during assembly or disassembly
  • Boom or cable failure

Granted, some of these instances can be down to improper use of the crane or even a lack of attention being paid on the job. 

However, that is not the case where parts may have corroded or malfunctioned. Plus should any such incident occur, checks for damaged parts may put the employer at fault, either partially or fully.

If cranes are regularly maintained and repaired promptly, accidents will be far less likely. Proper workplace safety training and compliance will reduce instances further still. 

Maintains Performance

Cranes, like any type of machinery, will work better and for longer if they are properly taken care of. 

Similar to maintaining a car, if issues are caught and remedied early, or can be prevented altogether then this reduces the likelihood of a serious issue occurring. 

For example, looking out for signs of wear and tear that has the potential to compromise any safety features or even the general performance of the crane. 

When you consider cranes are designed to maximise workplace productivity and efficiency, making sure the crane is in tip-top condition is essential.

Reducing The Risk Of Financial Penalties

Cranes pose risks to the safety of your workers, any site visitors and potentially the general public. 

As we’ve hinted at above, any safety failings due to a lack of regular crane maintenance would certainly have legal implications for that business. This includes the risk of serious fines or insurance claims depending on the nature of the incident. 

The unfortunate irony is that the cost of crane maintenance often pales in comparison to the cost of fines or insurance claims, especially when these are basic responsibilities of any business operating machinery. 

But by keeping up to date with the operational health of your cranes, such a fate can be avoided. 

Metreel Material Handling – Workstation Cranes For Material Handling & Lifting

Need any help and advice on all things cranes? Whether you are an existing Metreel customer or are interested in purchasing a crane for your business operations, we’re here to help. 

Metreel is a leading manufacturer of material handling equipment. We’re based in Derbyshire and supply our products not just across the UK but the globe. 

You can also download our free brochure to discover more about our product specifications by visiting our product brochure page. If you’re ready to place an order or have any questions, please give us a call on 0115 932 7010 or email us at [email protected].