First thing about working night shift is, the workplace is to have proper lighting. The company requesting night shift work has a duty of care in supplying proper lighting throughout the whole work areas, and also supplying proper PPE. We as workers also have a duty of care in caring for ourselves and also our workmates. Once we have this in the workplace then we are half way there.
Operating cranes at night time does not necessarily mean that all the lighting is focussed on the crane, minimum lighting should be supplied around the crane as long as the work area is well lit so the operator can have good view of the work area and the people around them. The lighting towers will have to be placed in a way where the riggers and dogman are not looking directly into the lights when directing cranes.
Prior to starting any work we have a pre start meeting which is conducted by the shift supervisor. The supervisor outlines all the tasks for that shift. We have Job Safety and Environment Analysis (JSEA) or Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) These are some of the risk assessment tools that we use to try and minimise incidents and or accidents in the work area. Also on the job prior to starting any work we also have what we call, start cards. Its a another form of risk assessment tool that we use to assess our work areas and surroundings.
The crane slew area is to be barricaded and sign posted prior to any work taking place. All workers are to have have proper PPE prior to starting any task.
2 of our Golden Rules is to never start any task unless all the proper paperwork is in place and never walk under a suspended load or lift any load above personnel.
The tasks that we perform are covered by work permits, which is supplied to the work crew by the shift supervisor, these should include the permit to work, working at heights permit, hot works permit, workers are to read and sign on to such permits prior to starting work.
House keeping plays a major part in having a safe work environment. Work areas are to be kept clean at all times to avoid injuries or incidents in the work area (Slips, Trips, Falls) common incidents around untidy work areas.
Communication – Proper communication between the work crew and the shift supervisor throughout the shift is very important. Its not only about work, its also – LOOKING OUT FOR EACH OTHER, HOME WITHOUT HARM.