Home > Do you know the common misconceptions about crane safety?

Do you know the common misconceptions about crane safety?

  • liftool_admin
  • 04 Jan 2024

The crane is an indispensable piece of machinery inside the warehouse. It comes in many varieties, which accomplishes a lot of utilities inside the workplace. It is also a piece of machinery that is associated with a large variety of misconceptions ranging from limit switches, overloading, side pull, and even daily inspections. Such myths are often heard within the workforce and sometimes lead to undesired work situations. Through this article, we intend to clear the air about the most common misconception regarding cranes and also provide the actual scenario behind it.

Why are these misconceptions about cranes so prevalent?

Every product we come across nowadays comes with a cautionary label. Some of them even flaunt multiple warning indications in the form of signs, lights, and labels. In such an era, it is astounding to think that many of us ignore the simple warning signs of overload when it comes to the overhead cranes in the warehouses. The real reason behind this is the various myths one encounters inside and outside the factory floor and their impact on their basic understanding.

These myths are a direct result of a false understanding perceived by one or more individuals based on a singular occurrence that might have proved the misconception right. Add to that the weight of common prejudices and hearsay of the local people, and we have ourselves a myth strong enough to outweigh the reasoning ability of factory workers.

Let us look at the most common instances and spread the necessary awareness, which can save many factory equipment and even lives.


Very often, we come across scenarios in workplaces where the workers consider it fine to overload cranes. They weigh in the point that manufacturers include a large safety factor when constructing the crane, and hence it can take the extra load easily once in a while. In reality, it is one of the most common as well as hazardous misconceptions prevalent in factories.

In practice, the safety factor included during the manufacturing is not based on intentional manual overloading. Moreover, the entire system of the crane is not designed, including a safety factor. A few of the working components may or may not have it included. If the crane system is attached to a building that itself doesn’t consider a safety factor, then the chances are high that there is no safety factor weighing in for the crane. This would result in the whole system falling apart at some point when the load becomes too much. We hence advise using a load indicator and include it in the crane system. This will ensure that the workers are aware of the extra weight added in and hence brush aside the myths regarding overloading.

Upper limit switch

The upper limit switch has suffered its own share of misconceptions. When operating with overhead cranes, it is often misunderstood that you can keep on lifting until you hit the upper limit switch. Many crane operators perceive that doing so would provide them with the chance to gain maximum height and hence move the materials easily. But this understanding falls flat as the upper limit switch is intended to prevent collision of the hook assembly with the drum. Operators misconceive the upper limit switch as an operational device, whereas it is intended as a safety device. On its failure, the hook block will collide with the drum and result in the failure of the rope and the falling of the load. We advise operators to install a second switch, which will provide a fail-safe mode to the operation.

Side pull

The third most common misconception with cranes is regarding side pull. The common misconception in this regard is that we can pull a small steel piece out of the adjacent bay as long as there is sufficient rope on the hoist. This myth is much observed in the case of overhead cranes. IS 3177 states that overhead cranes are designed to lower down or lift up the load straight. The issue with side pull is that it causes multiple hazardous conditions, which are as follows.

  • Primarily, the wire rope can come out of the grooves and scrub against the drum or the remaining rope, hence damaging them.
  • In some cases, the rope might also jump the drum and also tangle around the shaft, increasing the stress on the rope further.
  • Side pull might also cause excessive stress in ways unimaginable to the everyday worker. For instance, let us consider a bridge beam that is taller than its width as it is vertically loading.

Now, if it pulls at an angle of 45 degrees, the stresses would be equal both laterally and vertically on the crane. The bridge beam runs a risk of failing even with a load that is half of the capacity.


Cranes are one of the most used warehouse machinery with a vast plethora of utilities. It also comes with its fair share of misconceptions which must be clarified so as to avoid any kind of mishaps on the factory floor. Moreover, it would ensure that the crane operations are enhanced, and nobody gets hurt.