Toolbox Talks: Overhead Crane Safety

Toolbox Talks are an effective method of communication for employees at The C.A. Lawton Co.  Each week, a handout is designed and posted by our compliance coordinator, Katherine Jungwirth.  This handout is specifically created to freshen everyone’s memory and remind them of specific safety precautions.

During an average year, injuries caused by working with or near cranes, hoists and similar equipment account for thousands of lost-time incidents throughout the United States. Due to this, there are certain safety rules that must be followed by everyone who works with or near cranes.

Here are some specific rules for The C.A. Lawton Co. foundry cranes:

Moving Mold Line Plates

•     Be sure all four chains are hooked on the outside of the runners on the corner of the plate

•     Make sure back of hook is touching plate


•     Verify that both straps are secured to the roll-over trunnions

•     If moving multiple flasks, confirm that the roll-over trunnions for both flasks are inside the straps

•     Level the load prior to moving or rolling

•     When rolling flask, keep the load as low to the ground as possible


•     Use all four chains and hooks to pick up and move any hopper

•     Hooks should go from the inside of the hopper to the outside


•     Be sure to use appropriately sized lifting hooks

•     Only lift the core by numbered hooks that are rammed into the core

Rolling Cores

•     Make certain open hook side is away from the core

•     Check that the straps are secure

Levelling Cores

•     Verify that all eye bolts are secure on the threaded rod before lifting

•     Confirm that all chain tighteners are secure on the appropriate chain link based on the part

•     Raise the core slowly to avoid swinging the core and so that it remains level

•     Once part is slightly off the ground, use the bubble level and adjust accordingly by using the chain tighteners to go up or down


•     Be sure that all loose chains are in a secured location

•     Raise the load slowly to ensure loose chains do not get caught as the crane moves

Operator Reminders

•     At the beginning of each shift, confirm that the PM sheets are complete

•     Remain focused and avoid distractions while operating the crane

•     If someone begins to talk to you, politely ask them to wait until you are done moving your load

•     DO NOT move load over people

•     Secure all loose chains before moving the crane

•     Stay behind the load and its path of travel

•     If the crane is equipped with a horn, sound the horn before beginning to move the load and during transport

It is reminded that cranes are powerful and effective tools and employees are advised to always pay attention to what they are doing, where they are going, and the path they are taking.  Lawton stresses the importance of safety and communicating that information to assure the well-being of all workers.