Now on its fourth year, Global Lifting Awareness Day (GLAD) is a campaign established by the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) to raise awareness of the importance of safe lifting operations. This year GLAD will take place on July 13 to share information about apprenticeships, technology, sustainability and diversity, and best practices through #GLAD2023.
As outlined in the #GLAD2023 launch message, “fighting gravity is inherently dangerous and getting it wrong can lead to accident, injury, and even fatality. That makes lifting an extremely important, challenging, and rewarding sector to work in.”
Lifting and rigging is critical to all segments of construction and heavy industry. DICA is proud to support this initiative by sharing a few of our resources and best practices. DICA was founded on the principle of providing engineered solutions that maximize performance and solve important setup challenges for your crews.
There’s a growing interest among crane owners to establish standard operating procedures for using outrigger pads for “everyday” lifting scenarios. This involves an evaluation of your equipment and typical jobs to select the right size and type of crane and outrigger pad. Establishing a culture that incorporates this type of strategic planning mitigates risks, minimizes liability, and improves overall safety.
Crane pad selection should be based on both the equipment loads and the planned or actual ability of the ground to support it. It’s critical to evaluate the ground and use correctly sized outrigger pads or crane pads to create stability and safely distribute outrigger reaction forces to the ground. Undersized pads can create unstable conditions, and oversized pads are heavy, costly and can create inefficiencies. To learn more about how to take a standardized approach to using outrigger pads, read this article by Kris Koberg, CEO of DICA, which was published in American Cranes & Transport magazine.
Below are additional resources that are available on the DICA website. We believe that sharing our knowledge with others helps to lead to a safer workplace.
Resources and Best Practices
Terminology around ground conditions, outrigger pads, and safe setup can vary from region to region or industry to industry. One of the barriers to improving safety is misunderstanding or different definitions of terms. To improve communication between crane users, general contractors, and site owners, this guide offers standardized terminology.
Before setting up a crane it’s essential to know the ground conditions to keep equipment upright. Check out this resources page to help you determine the soil bearing capacity.
Calculating the crane pad area needed to reduce the outrigger load to the target ground bearing capacity can be complicated. DICA has created this graph to help guide you.
Two important properties to understand when comparing outrigger pads and crane pads are the material’s strength and stiffness. Products must be strong enough to prevent breaking (physical failure), and rigid enough to resist bending (functional failure), while distributing the load over an intended area. This resource explains the difference and can be used to help you evaluate products for your situation.
Exposure to crane tip over is often associated with soft ground. But hard ground presents different challenges. As the ground conditions become harder or ground bearing capacities increase, pads and mats become less effective in spreading load. On very hard ground conditions such as paved surfaces, load typically distributes at an angle of 45-60 degrees through the thickness of the pads. This results in higher peak pressures and higher overall ground bearing pressures because of the reduced area of distribution. Often the interaction between the ground and pad is not recognized or understood, which results in higher ground bearing pressures than are intended. See this guide for solutions for setting up on hard ground.
Don’t Forget Loads Imposed by Tires & Crawlers! It’s also important to understand ground pressures imposed by equipment set up on tires or with crawlers, especially when underground hazards are present.
DICA encourages everyone to join in the effort to raise awareness of the importance of lifting safely and to share their safety tips and tricks on social media using the hashtag #GLAD2023.