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Safety of Mobile Cranes in Construction

Safe At Work Ontario

Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.

The safe operation of mobile cranes in Ontario continues to be a key concern for the Ministry of Labour.

Between 2007 and 2011 there were three critical injuries involving mobile cranes at construction sites across Ontario, according to ministry reports. Some of these incidents occurred when cranes overturned and contacted electrical conductors or when the cranes or the material that they were lifting struck or crushed workers when the load was dropped.

Some general duties of workplace parties under the OHSA:

Employers

Employers must ensure that all workplace parties comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations. Duties include ensuring mobile cranes are:

  • Maintained in good condition and used as required by the Regulations for Construction Projects . A copy of any operating manuals and a maintenance log book must be kept with the crane
  • Inspected by a competent worker to determine if the cranes can handle the rated capacity and to identify any hazardous conditions
  • Operated by certified hoisting engineers if the cranes can hoist more than 7,260 kg. Cranes that hoist less than 7,260 kg must be operated by workers trained in the cranes' safe operation. Workers must carry proof of certification and training
  • Set up on firm level surfaces and operated as per manufacturers' instructions

Supervisors

Supervisors must ensure all workplace parties comply with the OHSA and its regulations. General duties that may be relevant to the use of mobile cranes include:

  • Ensuring workers comply with the OHSA and its regulations
  • Ensuring any equipment, protective device or clothing required by the OHSA is used or worn by workers
  • Advising workers of any potential or actual health or safety dangers known by the supervisor
  • Providing workers with any required written instructions on measures and procedures to protect them
  • Taking every reasonable precaution in the circumstances for the protection of workers

Workers

Workers' duties under the OHSA include:

  • Being trained in safe practices and procedures
  • Working in compliance with the OHSA and its regulations
  • Only operating a crane or equipment that the worker is trained or certified to operate
  • Operating a crane or other equipment in a safe manner
  • Reporting any known workplace hazards or OHSA violations to the supervisor or employer

Protecting workers

It's the responsibility of employers and constructors to ensure that all workplace parties comply with the OHSA and its regulations.

Suppliers

Suppliers of rented or leased machines, devices, tools or equipment for use in OHSA-covered workplaces must ensure the equipment:

  • Complies with the OHSA and related regulations and
  • Is maintained in good condition

Owners

Owners of cranes or similar hoisting devices must:

  • Keep a permanent record of all inspections, tests, repairs, modifications and maintenance
  • Prepare a log book that includes the permanent record of whichever is greater: the past 12 months or the period the cranes or hoisting devices are on the project
  • Keep this log book with the cranes or hoisting devices
  • Retain and make available to the constructor, on request, copies of all log books and records for the cranes or hoisting devices

For more information on legal responsibilities please visit E-Laws.

Further information on mobile crane safety:

Toll–free number

Call 1–877–202–0008 any time to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals. Call 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday for general inquiries about workplace health and safety. Always call 911 in an emergency.