Views:2 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2018-04-04 Origin:Site
The wide variation of designs and the increasing complexity of tower crane technology make it essential that all maintenance personnel are supplied with adequate information to enable them to carry out their duties effectively and safely. Maintenance information comes in various forms and from several sources.
Tower crane owners must ensure that a robust system is in place to provide adequate up to date information to maintenance personnel. This may be achieved in a number of ways including:-
• Provision of paper manuals using a system which will ensure frequent updating is taking place;
• Provision of electronic manuals using a system which will ensure frequent updating is taking place;
• A central technical information function which can be contacted for up to date information whenever maintenance is taking place.
NOTE: It is essential that a system is in place to ensure that manual updates, safety alerts and other information are communicated speedily to those who need to know.
Information supplied by the tower crane manufacturer will be the main source of instructions and specifications when carrying out maintenance. The primary document will be the maintenance manual for the specific crane model (and in some cases serial number), supplemented by technical information bulletins.
Care should be taken to ensure that the information is up to date and relevant to the crane on which maintenance is being carried out.
Manufacture’s manuals are not always complete and in the case where a particular task is not covered, the manufacturer must be contacted for information BEFORE the task is undertaken.
In-House Technical Information
Some tower crane owners will have their own technical information dealing with specific issues relating to the cranes in their fleet. This can be a useful source of information for maintenance personnel but care should be taken to ensure that information is current and obsolete data has been withdrawn.
Method Statements and Work Instructions
Much maintenance work on tower cranes is of a routine nature and can be covered by generic risk assessments, method statements and work instructions. On occasions however, unusual and potentially hazardous tasks, such as hoist winch replacement on an erected crane, will have to be undertaken. Such tasks must be planned thoroughly and a job specific safe system of work put in place. This planning must include consideration of falling object hazards (hand tools, components etc.).
This system of work should be described in a brief, focused job specific method statement on which all members of the maintenance team undertaking the task must be fully briefed. This briefing, which should be recorded, should concentrate on the task to be undertaken and highlight any unusual features of the job.
Maintenance personnel may also need to refer to generic information such as standards and industry guidance. For example, for wire ropes there are BS ISO 4309: Cranes – Wire Ropes – Care, maintenance, installation, examination and discard, the CPA Tower Crane Interest Group’s Technical Information Note series and wire rope manufacturer’s literature.
Care should be taken to ensure that the information is up to date.
The history of the repairs and maintenance carried out on a tower crane is often very helpful when trying to diagnose faults and repeated failures. Maintenance personnel should be encouraged to contact their manager or supervisor to request relevant machine history details when appropriate.
Paper information such as manuals and bulletins is rapidly being replaced by electronic formats such as CD-ROM and website downloads. This has the advantage that physical storage space is kept to a minimum and, in the case of website downloads; information should be up to date at the point of access. However the use of electronic display devices, such as laptop computers, during maintenance is not always easy or practical. Information may therefore have to be printed out for use on site, in which case care should be taken that for any subsequent use the data is still current and relevant.
Management of Information
Information should be managed effectively if it is to be of maximum benefit to those involved in the maintenance process. Outdated information can at best waste time and at worst may well affect safety. It is therefore essential that organisations carrying out maintenance on tower cranes ensure that they have robust systems and procedures to ensure that maintenance personnel are supplied with adequate information that is both up to date and accurate.