tower crane

Accidents involving tower cranes, mobile cranes, and concrete pumps can have tragic consequences for workers and the public. In the past few years, there have been a number serious incidents and close calls.

Hazards relating to this type of equipment can include:


Heavy Equipment Hazards

Visit our Heavy Equipment Topic Page for more information about the dangers of working with heavy vehicles or equipment and links to resources that can help protect you and your co-workers.


Equipment Maintenance

  • The equipment must be maintained as per the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Inspections and non-destructive testing must be performed (when required by the regulations) and records maintained.
  • Maintenance reports and log books must be up-to-date.
  • Structural components of the equipment must be working properly.
  • Safety system indicators must be used and functioning properly.
  • The hose extension on discharge lines of concrete pumps must be supported.
  • Tower crane documentation, before and after erection, includes: a professional engineer’s design drawings for installation; verification that the crane was properly inspected prior to its first use and maintained afterwards; a review of log book entries to ensure operational functions such as limit and overload limit switches were properly tested.
  • Mobile crane documentation includes a review of the operator log book and operator manual, and proof that the crane was properly inspected and maintained.

Equipment Operators

  • Equipment operators must have a certificate of qualification or record of training. Crane operators must be legally certified to operate a crane at a construction site. (Where required, crane operators may be in the process of being trained as an apprentice.)
  • Equipment must not be overloaded.
  • Equipment operation manuals must be readily available on site.
  • Operators must follow the manufacturer's operating instructions.
  • Operators must use safe rigging and hoisting practices.

Site Preparation

  • The jobsite must be properly planned and laid out.
  • Heavy equipment must be able to set up safely.
  • There must be room for rescue vehicles to get access and egress in case of an emergency.
  • There must be an emergency response plan and emergency procedures must be put into place.
  • Ground conditions must be appropriate for the set up of the equipment.
  • There must be an adequate foundation base for the equipment.
  • Equipment must not be in close proximity to live overhead powerlines.
  • The design drawings must meet regulatory requirements (e.g., confirmation that the bearing capacity of the outrigger support has been considered and is adequate to prevent overturning).

Traffic Control

  • There must be an effective traffic control plan in place.
  • Signallers must be properly trained.
  • Traffic-related devices such as signs and delineators must be properly maintained.

Safe Access and Fall Prevention

  • All fall hazards and access hazards must be properly addressed.
  • Openings must have proper guardrails or protection.
  • Workers must be given adequate access to equipment.

External Resources


IHSA Resources



For more information on training for concrete pumps, contact the Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Canada (RMCAO).





Heavy Equipment / Hoisting and Rigging


Concrete Pumps




Health and Safety Manual

Download the following chapters from IHSA’s Construction Health and Safety Manual (M029):


Safety Talks

Conducting a five-minute safety talk is hands-on way to remind workers that health and safety are important on the job and can help workers recognize and control hazards. Download these talks from IHSA’s Safety Talks (V005) manual:


Health & Safety Policies and Procedures

Use the documents below as a guide to help you write or update your health and safety policy and program. (See also Safe work practices/safe job procedures.)