What is a site survey and is it crucial to crane hire?

If you are planning to lift large and heavy materials or equipment on your project, you may need to conduct a site survey beforehand but, is this always necessary?

The answer to this is: not always. If, for instance, you are going to be lifting a pallet of building materials with a Hiab, then a survey may not be necessary. If, however, the size and complexity of the lift requires the use of a heavy-duty mobile crane, then the answer is: yes, you do.

In this blog post, we will explore why a site survey is necessary, what it entails and how you can prepare for it.

Why is a site survey necessary?

The construction industry is home to the majority of crane operations and is also one of the leading areas for workplace accidents, and accidents involving cranes can be fatal. Ensuring that all safety precautions are taken is crucial. A construction site survey is the precursor to a safe and problem-free crane operation. It is essential to conduct a site survey to:

1) Identify potential hazards: During a site survey, potential hazards are identified, such as overhead obstructions, ground conditions and access routes. This information is then used to create a plan that minimises the risks involved in the lift.

2) Comply with legal requirements: Depending on the complexity of the lift, a site survey may be a legal requirement. Failure to comply with legal requirements can result in fines and legal action.

3) Ensure safety: The survey helps to ensure the safety of workers and members of the public by identifying any potential hazards.

What is a site survey and what does it entail?

A site survey is a thorough inspection of the site where the crane will be used to lift heavy materials or equipment. A competent person must carry out the survey. A competent person is someone who has the necessary skills, experience and knowledge on how to survey a site.

During the survey, the following factors are considered:

  • Weight, material, nature and size of the load: The weight, material, nature and size of the load to be lifted are taken into consideration to determine the appropriate crane to use.
  • Height and distance: The height and distance the load needs to be lifted, as well as whether the crane and weight will be required to move to another area of the site during operations, are assessed.
  • Ground conditions: The ground conditions are evaluated to ensure that the crane can operate safely. This includes access into and exit routes from the site and any surface the crane may have to move over while carrying out the lift.
  • Obstructions: Any overhead obstructions anywhere in the operating area that could be a hazard during lifting operations are identified. How can they be removed or avoided?
  • Roads: Whether roads need to be closed during the crane’s access, departure or operations is considered. These will have to be sanctioned by the local council and police force if they are likely to affect normal traffic movement.

Phase two of risk assessment

After the initial observations have been made, the survey report is completed and any potential hazards are highlighted. The team can then decide how best to proceed. If a large overhanging tree branch is a problem, can it be removed? If power cables are the problem, can they be temporarily moved or the power turned off for the duration of the operation? If building overhang is a problem, can the lift be undertaken from another direction? Only when these problems have been resolved can the lift be given the go-ahead and arrangements made to allow a crane on site.

Preparing for a construction site survey

Now you know the basic parameters of how to survey a site, there are several things that you can do to prepare. First, ensure that you have all the necessary information about the lift, including the weight, size and nature of the load, as well as the height it needs to be lifted to and any other requirements.

Make sure that the site is clear of any hazards, such as obstacles or overhead obstructions, and that the ground conditions are suitable for the crane to operate on. If there are any potential hazards that cannot be removed, make sure that they are clearly marked and that the crane operator is aware of them.

It is also important to ensure that you have a competent person available to undertake this task. This person should have the necessary skills and experience to carry out a thorough survey and identify any potential hazards or risks.

How to choose a crane hire service

When choosing a crane hire service for your project, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, safety should be your top priority. Look for a company that has a proven track record of safe crane operations and can provide evidence of their safety procedures and training.

You should also consider the size and type of crane that you need for your project. Make sure that the crane hire service you choose has a range of cranes available and can provide the right equipment for your specific needs.

Other factors to consider include the experience and qualifications of the crane operator and the quality of the support team. Look for a company that has experienced and fully trained operators, as well as a team of support staff who can assist with load slinging and site signalling.

Speak to Emerson crane hire regarding our contract lift service.

Emerson Cranes is a leading crane hire firm in London and the South East, with a reputation for excellence and an impeccable safety record. Our contract lift service provides our clients with all of the necessary resources for a trouble-free lift. We will take full responsibility for the construction site survey, select the appropriate vehicle for the job, provide an overall competent person and a fully experienced team of load slingers, signalmen and banksmen. We are also fully insured to cover all eventualities.

If you would like further information on site survey, contract lifts or any of our heavy lift crane services, please contact Emerson Crane Hire today on 020 8548 3900 and speak to our friendly team.