Safe Operation of Mobile Cranes

A mobile crane is a flexible and versatile crane, due to its ability to move easily around any job site by using its own wheels and power. The mobile crane is easy to set up and can start operating immediately, making it ideal for various lifting operations. It brings many advantages over the fixed crane, and is a much better choice. But sometimes, the crane operators do not pay attention to the safety issues. The mobile crane brings many threats and needs to be operated in the safest manner possible.


Today there is an increasing number of mobile crane incidents, and many of them have occurred because of poor planning or poor operating. Some common causes for mobile crane incidents are:

  • Overloaded crane;
  • Crane set up on slopping or soft surface;
  • Ignored crane safety systems;
  • Contact with power lines;

The use of a mobile crane can be dangerous, especially if the operator is doing more complicated lifting operations. To reduce the risk of a mobile crane incident, a complete plan of the lifting operation needs to be prepared. The prepared plan can be applied not only to one operation, but for more lifting operations in the future. Whether the operation is straightforward or more complicated, the plan should be specific and comprehensive.

This plan, also known as work method statement, should be easy to understand for the people involved in the lifting operation, and should include only information related to the lifting operation. It also needs to be flexible, so that it can be quickly adapted to any possible change that may appear. The work method statement may include some diagrams, detailed descriptions, names and responsibilities of people involved in the lifting operations and many other useful information.

When planning mobile crane operations, many issues need to be considered and included into the work method statement. It needs to include the capabilities of the mobile crane, its condition, where it can and where it cannot operate, and many other issues. The personnel issues are also important and should not be neglected. The mobile crane operators must know all their responsibilities and should have some experience. The mobile crane operators need to have a high-risk work license, and to complete an adequate training for a particular type of mobile crane. Additionally, the high-risk work license does not demonstrate competence for operating a particular type of mobile crane.