How to safely set up your crane

The tower and mobile cranes setup procedure requires meticulous setup to avoid any catastrophic accidents during lifting operations.

This includes instability and damage caused by:

· Soft and undermined ground conditions

· Hidden utilities and conduits

· Overbalanced cranes

Ground protection mats help you to control for these common crane hazards by spreading the pressure of the crane over a larger area, as well as expanding the base area over which the centre of gravity can be safely located.

Using crane mats to build a lifting platform

First of all, crane safety requires to have a competent person with the relevant safety training to survey the ground in order to identify any hidden hollows and other potential hazards below the surface.

These can create pockets that the crane can fall into – and even a small cavity can leave the crane leaning in a dangerous position.

Crane mats can be used to span smaller spaces below the surface, by ensuring that the pressure is applied over a level lifting platform instead of on a single point of contact.

Widening the base area

Outrigger pads are a way to increase the effective base area of the crane so that the centre of gravity cannot move to an unstable position.

Again, using outrigger mats spreads the pressure of the crane’s outriggers over an area, reducing the risk of crane accidents due to an outrigger sinking into soft ground or breaking through into an undetected cavity.

They also help to create a flat and level surface for the outrigger to make contact with, which can be helpful if the ground itself is not completely level or even.

Things to consider

It’s important to assess the type of outrigger pads and crane mats you need, according to the soil type, the size of your crane or other lifting equipment and the total load you need to lift, among other things.

You might want to consider:

· The size of outrigger mats you need.

· The type and maximum load of crane mats.

At all times, make sure you observe your lifting platform, crane mats and outrigger pads carefully, and halt your lifting operations if you notice any significant deformation.

For more information about crane mats, lifting platforms and outrigger mats, contact Timbermat today and we will be happy to help.

Dangers of uneven ground: risk assessment & solutions

Each year, health and safety statistics continue to rank slips, trips and falls as being among the main causes of injury in workplaces throughout the UK.

It’s a broad category but in any case, one way to reduce the risk of trip hazards and falling on the flat is to make sure the ground underfoot is flat and level.

Uneven ground can introduce several avoidable hazards, such as sloping slippery surfaces, ruts and furrows, and the risk of penetrating into voids hidden below the ground.

Temporary ground protection mats are a quick, easy and economical way to provide a physical barrier between feet, wheels and the ground surface below.


What can temporary ground protection mats cover?

You can hide a multitude of less-than-perfect working surfaces beneath temporary ground protection mats:

  • Slippery surfaces such as mud that can be churned up by heavy-duty tyres.
  • Grass you want to remain in place after work is completed.
  • Weak substances e.g. expansive soil that may be prone to subsidence.

Temporary roadways can provide safe and demarcated access for plant vehicles and machinery on to the site, while reducing the need for them to negotiate lumps and bumps in the ground surface.

And temporary pedestrian walkways can be laid down to provide essential grip underfoot and ensure workers’ boots are not clogged with mud when stepping on to clean surfaces around the site.


Why are timber mats a good option?

Safety is important but it should not come at an excessive financial cost for your business – and timber mats offer the best of both worlds.

The timber itself has little intrinsic value, so they’re not a theft risk and they should have little to no impact on your site insurance.

We have timber mats for sale and for hire, so if you only need them as a one-off, you don’t face the need to store or sell on your ground protection mats once the work is completed.

Equally, if you need a stock of your own timber mats for subsequent projects, you can buy them from us and get many years of service life out of them for even greater economy.

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