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Crane Safety

Tom Barth has dedicated his life to crane safety. A crane operator, inspector, trainer and accident investigator with 38 years in the industry, Tom is committed to helping operators and companies make their workplace safer. With his background in tower cranes, crawlers, truck cranes, harbor cranes and more, and working in some of the harshest conditions on the planet, he brings a unique combination of knowledge, skills and dedication to the field of crane safety.


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2003 Crane Mishaps

Click the photos below to enlarge!

2003-08-30 - Insurance Cowboys
Photographs of Crane Mishaps where Insurance Companies used Cowboy Repairers.

Photographs of crane mishaps where Insurance Companies used cowboy repairers.

This crane folded in Brisbane in June with 80kg (that's right 80kg) where it was legal for 1100kg. It had returned from the repairers in late April where to save money the insurance company had instructed them to weld the boom rather than replace it after a previous accident, needless to say it failed right on the repair, this was the first time it had been fitted with the fly and needle since it had been returned. Makes you wonder about the repairers load test procedures. Incidentally both the repairer and insurer are major players in the industry not backyarders, SCARY HUH!!!!

Click on any of the images below to view a larger version

On October 1, 2003, a 45-year-old superintendent, with 27 years experience, was fatally injured at a surface sand and gravel operation. The victim was operating a crane to lift a hydraulic power pack that was positioned on the bank of a settling pond. The outrigger pads were not fully extended at the time of the lift. When the power station was raised and swung toward the left, the crane tipped over on the ground, pinning the victim inside the cab. This is the 19th fatality reported in calendar year 2003 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries.

Look at the crane level on the floor in back of the crane operator. This was installed by the crane manufacturer. The crane tipped over at night and there was one fatality. I was just thinking, if the level was where he could see it, would this accident have happened. But then, this type of level is not accurate, and does not tell the crane operator what percentage of level the crane is off. There is a sensor that can be built into the crane that can accurately tell just how off level the crane is, and can even shut the crane down when approaching dangerous limits.

They were loading going to load out the counterweights to go do a job. The crane was a Liebherr LTM-1160 / 55. The operator was telescoping the boom out with no counterweights on the machine and no load on the hook. The ground was very hard under the outriggers and did not give away. Look at the top outrigger beams in the picture do you see any outrigger pads The weight of the boom is what turned it over.

Can anyone tell me what sort of crane is under the tires? (below)

Just pulling sheet piling. Would they listen to me WHEN I said NO? Now I hope they will listen to the next CRANE Operator after repairs.

The same Crane Inspection Company had done the inspections on this crane and never reported the welding on the crane that was not allowed. So the crane operator is lucky to be alive today. One leg was amputated and the other leg has so many pins in it that he can not even bend it. It was reported that this was an approved OSHA accredited company.

OSHA fines subcontractor in employee’s death
By Julie R. Smith – Staff Writer

Contractor of Wando, S.C. has been fined $1,400 for failing to follow manufacturer’s specifications for equipment on a crane boom that killed an employee in Summerville in October 2002.

Company X is a subcontractor on a state Department of Transportation interchange upgrade project at Highway 17-A and Interstate 26. The company was cited in December 2002 and originally fined $3,500 for violating safety guidelines by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

On Oct. 5, John Russell Odom, of Summerville, was sitting in a truck cab near exit 199 as co-workers used a crane to load chunks of a dismantled overpass on a flatbed trailer. A piece of concrete weighing more than 10 tons was dangling from the crane boom when a cable snapped. The boom crashed on top of the cab, killing Odom instantly.

Work at the site was halted while OSHA inspectors investigated the accident. Employees with the prime contractor, Company X, Company A and DOT were interviewed.

A 16-page report issued by OSHA said the wrong size boom and main hoist lines were installed on the Manitowoc crane involved in the fatality, and the lines were “kinked and broken.”

The problems were identified during operators’ inspections as early as May 2002, but the defective equipment was not removed from service, the report states.

The boom hoist cable was weakened by repeated “pinching” which caused it to fail and the boom to collapse, the report said.

The OSHA penalty was reduced from $3,500 to $1,400 when Company X invoked the Employer Penalty Option, which can reduce a fine by up to 60 percent. “When an employer is cited by OSHA and they have a prior clean safety record, they can invoke the EPO. By doing that, they allow OSHA to require them to actually do more to ensure employees’ safety,” OSHA spokesman Lesia Kuldeka said.

Company X officials must submit a stringently upgraded safety plan to OSHA by Feb, 28, she said.

The $13 million interchange upgrade project started in September 2001 and has a tentative completion date of August or September 2003.

This crane collapsed and critically injured a worker at a construction site at Ashley Phosphate Road and I26. Incident 4th area crane accident in 8 months.

Below Are Photos Of A Manitowoc 2250 Crane Boom Collapse That Took Place At A TX Refinery.

Some photo's of crane related accidents on the water.

Left - Load dropped - 1 dead. Within 24 hours they were back to work and the safety devices on the crane were not working. Red hook - notice the safety latch is missing. Is this what caused the load to drop?

Patch on crane boom. This crane was inspected and failed. The contractor had a 2nd inspection done and it passed. Some of the problems included patches and dents on main cords, the boom run, ring gear teeth missing, hydraulic oil leaks throughout.

Notice how the load was rigged and the angle of the nylon straps

Cranes and Power Lines

Crane contacts overhead power line during freeway construction.

Eyewitness: "In a split second the whole crane, cab, everything exploded in flames."

Hydraulic fluid and underground insulation become fuel for the flames.

Debris rains down through the smoke and fire.

Fortunately, the crane operator escapes with only minor injuries.

46,000 volts travel through the crane and beneath the concrete road.

Fire Chief: "Electricity will find its path, and if you're in that path, it will injure you."

Slabs of concrete are lifted in the air.

The roadbed becomes fully engulfed.

Crane collapse kills worker at I-26 road project. The cause of the accident is suspected to be BOOM HOIST CABLE FAILURE

Contractor has three accidents in less the 30 days Two large cranes and their barge runs into bridge.

Contractor says an unexpected puff of wind tipped the crane over and Santa comes in JULY.

Just putting these big cranes together accidents can happen. Cause of the accident is unknown at this time.

Using cable clamps for lifting with cranes is a big NO NO and this job they were pile driving OUCH!

93 14ton national : I was trying to shift this gang form over with-out taking a lot of weight off the footing when it slipped off the footing and snapped the boom , since this pic. I've bought a 45 ton crawler to do such things. We were lucky no one was hurt.
Shannon Wright , Kentucky

My partner Tom Anderson took this picture from a speeding car on H-1 in Hawaii last year. Notice the 2 outriggers on the side of the crane closest to the wall were not extended horizontally. This Grove RT-58 most likely does not have an OEM load chart for 0% outrigger extension. The operator was probably basing his capacity from the on outriggers over the side.
V/R, Kevin Parrish Navy Crane Center

This is what you would call a "Crane Operator Hang Over"

As seen in the Anchorage Daily News. Photo used with permission. July 31 1993 taken by Mark Dolan

This crane operator did not check his ground loading on the outriggers before he began his lift. In England we have appointed persons who take charge of the lift this takes the onus off the driver and enables him to concentrate on his work, The appointed person does all ground loading lifting studies safety plans, he is in sole charge of the lift the crane driver is there to operate the crane only.

Boom Me Up Scotty! What happens when you leave your boom out in the wind? It falls down!

Look at the Photos below! This is not a Mishap Yet!

What a Safe Crane, Right?

All Sections Had Gaps Like This One!

Do you see anything Wrong with these pictures? Do you believe this crane has passed four inspections? No Door, No Boom Indicator, No Operators Manual, No Warning Decals.

35 ton Grove RT Gee I guess there really is a difference between 18 ton and 18,000 ! As you might imagine the crane operator had some extensive load chart refresher training after this one.

What a crane operator has to put up with to keep his job. An improperly made window from a roll of plastic.

The operator slewed the crane with boom raised and with no outriggers extended. The crane overturned and the boom fell across a construction site. Fortunately most of the employees were on their lunch break and no injuries resulted.

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