Overload safety systems are an overhead crane’s most fundamental safeguards. But making them error-proof requires a complex circuit architecture. This important topic will also be covered in detail by Alfred Beer of German certification body Tuev in the factory crane session of the Crane Safety conference in London, 22-23 June (see www.hoistmagazine.com for more info).

As important as the topic is, it does appear to be another case of technology creating a problem rather than a solution (or more precisely, a problem in addition to a solution).

If crane operators were to use a simple mechanical, or electromechanical, overload detection system, they would not need to worry about the causes and effects of a computer fault.

I am not saying that computerised overload systems are bad; I am sure they are sophisticated bits of kit that can increase the productivity of a process crane.

But someone should be thinking about ensuring they are safe under all conditions, before installing them on a crane.