Toolbox Talk: Cranes 2: Stability and Tipping

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

The second CPWR Toolbox Talk on Cranes addresses tipping and stability. The resource includes a ‘real-life’ case example, steps to prevent a related injury or illness, and questions for discussion. It includes an image (page 2) that illustrates the hazard, which can be posted in a central location as a reminder of steps to work safely.   Click on the following links to access the English version and the Spanish version. (English) (Español)

CPWR Toolbox Talk logoStudies show that one crane accident occurs for every 10,000 hours of use in the United States.



Here is an Example

Ed was in charge of receiving materials and having them safely unloaded at the construction site. The delivery was late and to speed things up Ed did not fully extend the outriggers on his truck crane. As a result the load caused the crane to tip over. The falling materials nearly crushed 2 other workers. The tipping of the crane caused injuries to Ed. He was hospitalized for 3 days and off work for 2 weeks recovering.

  1. How could this incident have been avoided?
  2. Do you know someone injured by a crane collapsing or tipping over?

Proper Crane Use

  • Always use the crane manufacturer’s load chart provided for each crane.
  • Be sure you know or can calculate the weight of each load.
  • Never use visual signs of tipping as an indicator of lift capacity.
  • Before beginning a lift
    • Follow the manufacturer’s procedures for proper outrigger deployment to ensure that cranes are properly set up and level, and
    • Make sure outrigger pads are supported on firm, stable surfaces before beginning a lift.
  • Check the condition of the ground and blocking materials often when multiple lifts are made from one location, such as during duty cycle operations.
  • Avoid moving suspended loads over workers and others within the crane’s swing radius.
  • Check the manufacturer’s maximum wind speed for the crane to ensure that the crane can lift the load in windy weather.

What Are We Going to Do Today?

What will we do here at the worksite today to prevent injuries while working with cranes?







OSHA Standard 1926.1402

Graphic of a worker reading a load chart while standing next to a crane truck with outriggers deployed.

  • Always use the crane manufacturer's load chart provided for each crane
  • Be sure you know or can calculate the weight of each load
  • Never use visual signs of tipping as an indicator of lift capacity