Safety Tips for Operating Non-Slewing Mobile Cranes


A non-slewing mobile crane has a jib or boom and is a pickup and carry crane. Any site with personnel operating non-slewing mobile crane tasks must have safety guidelines to keep people and property out of danger.

Safe Operations with Non-Slewing Mobile Cranes

Due to the nature of the tasks that non-slewing mobile cranes perform, they are prone to causing damage and accidents through toppling or miscalculating crane movement. 

The following are guidelines for the safe and smooth operation of that machinery:

The site supervisor should ensure everyone knows the mobile crane’s operating schedule. One requirement is that everyone be observant of what is happening around them so that they remain alert and stay out of the crane’s way. 

Such alertness will also reduce the impact of any unforeseen events with the crane since the personnel will quickly get out of harm’s way in case of danger.

Before starting operations with the crane, check the terrain where it will be situated. The safety of any crane depends on the ground it stands on. Uneven ground or ground wet and slippery from rain, oil spills, or other fluids is a recipe for impending disaster. 

The personnel can delay operations until they confirm the ground’s safety or move the crane to a safer location.

  1. The crane should have a clear space of operating circumference. It should operate without obstructions such as buildings, trees, and power lines that the crane can damage.
  2. Before using the crane, ensure it has undergone all the necessary mechanical servicing and checks. A thorough inspection will reveal deficient fluids, such as fuel, and mechanical anomalies in its hydraulic, mechanical, and electrical aspects.
  3. The operators should ensure the crane has the correct pads to support its cribbing for lifting operations. That will avoid outrigger malfunction or a sink. Operating faulty machinery is the top risk on mechanised work sites.
  4. If the crane’s operations are not working properly, the operators should cease operations. Then, they can assess the situation and find safer ways of performing the task.
  5. When using automated cranes, the operators should avoid overriding the computer installed in the mobile crane.
  6. The operators and their supervisors should read and understand all the load charts for the crane before using it.
  7. Crane operators should observe legal and industrial regulations that guide the use of any machinery. They should not use mobile phones or be intoxicated when operating non-slewing mobile cranes.
  8. The site supervisor should ensure sufficient and practicable safety and emergency response programs. These include first-aid kits, fire extinguishers, and personnel with CPR and first-aid skills. They should also consistently conduct safety briefs when onboarding new staff or visitors to the site. Everyone on the site should wear all necessary safety gear.

The supervisor should keep unauthorised people out of the site. Some sites post safety rules and symbols in conspicuous places to remind all personnel to observe personal safety measures.

Mobile crane operations may be scheduled during periods of poor visibility, such as at night or in foggy weather. The operating personnel should ensure adequate lighting on site and use radio calls for any alerts. Otherwise, operations should remain suspended until the site has adequate visibility for safe operations.


Mobile cranes pose a risk when handled by operators who need more skills and experience. In such circumstances, the cranes become dangerous machinery, causing costly and sometimes fatal accidents. Site supervisors should ensure the efficient implementation of all safety checks that guide the operation of non-slewing mobile cranes.

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