When Will We Learn?
An investigation has begun into what caused the crane to collapse onto a unit block on Brodie Spark Drive at Wolli Creek on Sunday. Three construction workers were taken to hospital for treatment after the accident, one with a suspected broken leg. No one was inside the crane at the time of the crash.
Crane incidents are a low probability and high impact risk category. Not enough attention is paid to the risks involved in using cranes, particularly in built up areas. This is usually due to lack of knowledge and awareness.
Some key contributing factors to crane failures are: human error, insufficient planning, unauthorised changes and violating manufacturer’s recommendation. Every high risk activity should address the following three points before proceeding:
- Do you have effective and adequate safeguards in place to identify and eliminate deficiencies?
- Are the intended safeguards adequate and have been properly constructed, tested and maintained?
- Have you engaged an “Independent Competent Verification” and “Active On-Site Monitoring” process to provide assurance?
Published By: 9 News on 6 August 2017
Enerpac has launched the SHAS-Series Autonomous SyncHoist for high-precision load manoeuvring with a single crane, it is designed for the safe and accurate positioning of heavy and unbalanced loads. Deployed below-the-hook, SyncHoist can be used either directly between slings or under an auxiliary frame, enabling accurate hoisting where space is limited.
SyncHoist enhances a crane’s capability in terms of both its ability to accurately handle heavy and unbalanced loads, and its utility on-site. There is no need for an external power pack or for hydraulic hoses for the lifting cylinders, therefore, it does not require mid-hoist replacement of the power pack or generator.
A single operator controls and oversees the entire hoisting job, using a portable wireless control unit for remote control of all cylinders. In addition to synchronised lifting and lowering, the operator is able to independently lift and lower each cylinder for balancing, tilting and positioning loads.
Published By: Cranes on 27 March 2017
Operator error was responsible for the collapse of a crawler crane in Tribeca, Manhattan, USA, according to the New York City Department of Buildings (DoB).
The DoB alleged that the operator, who has not been identified, failed properly to secure the 565 foot (172 metre) crawler crane the night before it collapsed. The operator is also said to have lowered the main boom at the wrong angle, causing the crane to topple over in strong winds.
The operator’s licence has been suspended and the DoB has filed to revoke his licence permanently.
The crane collapsed along Worth Street in lower Manhattan just before 08.30 on 5 February 2016, killing 38-year-old David Wichs. Three other people were injured.
Buildings commissioner Rick Chandler said, “The crane operator involved in this incident acted recklessly, with tragic results. The actions we’re taking should send the message to everyone in the construction industry that safety must come first.”
The crane, which was owned by Bay Crane and operated by Galasso Trucking and Rigging, was being used to replace generators and air conditioners on a roof.
The DoB is implementing 23 recommendations that a technical working group formed by Mayor de Blasio released in June in response to the collapse. These include requiring mobile cranes to be fitted with anemometers to record real-time wind readings, and restricting mobile crane operations whenever winds exceed 30 miles an hour (48.6 km/h).
Published By: KHL – International Cranes on 4th January, 2016
How can you safeguard your operation?
Human error was allegedly to blame for the crane that fell and killed more than 100 people in Saudi Arabia ahead of the hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca in 2015, the Saudi Gazette has reported.
The Grand Mosque crane was operated by people who were not licensed to do so, an engineer testified in a Saudi Arabian court.
The user’s manual that explained how to operate the heavy machinery was never consulted by some of the people manning the crane, said the engineer, one of 14 defendants in the case.
“Some of them did not even know that such a book existed,” said the engineer, who was not immediately identified.
While the proceedings have been taking place in criminal court, the defendants have said the case instead belongs in the Civil Defense Court because it was an accident.
The worst punishment a civil court could levy against the defendants would be about six months in prison and a fine versus a potential life or death sentence in criminal court.
The host of charges the defendants face include, but are not limited to, the violation of safety rules, negligence and causing the death and injuries to many people.
One hundred and eleven people were killed and 260 people injured when the 1,350 tonne capacity crane came down on 11 September 2015. The crash happened in the lead up to hajj, the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca.
The hajj is an annual five-day ritual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, expected to be carried out at least once in the life of every Muslim. Millions of people attend the annual ritual.
Published By: KHL – International Crane on January 4th, 2016
“Bribery, world most destructive and challenging issue”
FIEC (the European Construction Industry Federation) and EIC (European International Contractors) have expressed their support for the publication of the new worldwide standard on anti-bribery management systems.
The standard has been published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (IOS) after it described bribery as “one of the world’s most destructive and challenging issues”.
It said that over US$1 trillion (€910 billion) is paid in bribes each year.
The standard specifies a series of measures to help organisations prevent, detect and address bribery. These include adopting an anti-bribery policy, appointing a person to oversee anti-bribery compliance, training, risk assessments and due diligence on projects and business associates.
Per Nielsen, FIEC and EIC representative, said, “Now that it is available for practical use, I do hope that contractors and clients alike see the big opportunity to introduce management systems which will reduce the risk of active and passive corruption considerably.
“In addition, forthcoming guidelines will have to clarify the need for moral and organisational reciprocity between clients and contractors as one of the necessary conditions for success in practice.”
Published By: KHL on 18 October 2016
Crane Accidents Can Be Costly With Serious Consequences
It seems that rarely a week goes by without a significant crane accident being reported in the media, all with significant property damage and consequential losses, and many with significant injury and/or loss of life. This is an opportunity to hear an industry specialist outline the key requirements for safe crane operation, particularly for complex construction tasks.
Those with related interest, responsibility and duty are encouraged to attend this event which will extend their knowledge and understanding of the challenges involved.”
Further details on the event, including registration, are provided in the attached flyer.
300 T Crawler Crane Dropped Boom Across 7 Lane Bridge
A large brand new crawler crane dropped its boom across a seven lane bridge yesterday on the new Tappan Zee bridge project in New York.
The crane, was working from the deck of the new Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River to the North of New York City. The boom was over the side of the crane and the bridge working with a large piling hammer.
Witnesses say that the boom started to come down slowly at first but then gathered momentum and came crashing down onto a barge and then the old bridge. Amazingly the boom managed to miss cars on the busy seven lane crossing, although some collided with each other as they swerved and braked to avoid the falling boom. There were no serious injuries reported, although five people were treated for minor injuries and at least one person was taken to hospital. The operator was said to be fine.
The crane itself remained stable on the new bridge, the old bridge was closed for inspection. It was later cleared of the debris, and partially reopened to traffic.
The crane appears to be a new 300 tonne Manitowoc ML300 equipped with the VPC Max variable counterweight attachment.
Published By: Crane Accidents on 21 July 2016
UK tower crane rental house Falcon Crane Hire admitted to health and safety breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Southwark Crown Court in London on Monday 29 February, in relation to a Battersea, south London, crane crash in September 2006.
Crane operator Jonathan Cloke, 37, and local resident Michael Alexa, 23, died in the incident when the tower crane collapsed on a Barratt Homes property development site. Cloke fell to his death from inside the cab and a section of the crane struck and killed Alexa as he cleaned his car in a neighbouring street.
The inquest heard that a mistake – loading the crane structure with 12 tonnes of counterweights instead of eight – was made by Falcon Crane Hire Limited because it had used the wrong instruction manual when erecting the crane.
Judge Alistair McCreath adjourned sentencing until 15 March and agreed for the prosecution to offer no evidence against Douglas Genge, Falcon managing director.
Published By: KHL on 3 March 2016
The crane, with a 565-foot boom that stretched roughly as long as a city block, plummeted around 8:24 a.m. EST in New York City. Twisted red-colored metal from the plunging boom smashed into parked cars and debris littered streets and sidewalks.
Construction work was halted on the building Thursday after operators decided to lower and secure the crane against winds, which at times gusted between 20-25 mph.
“The report said they were in the process of securing the crane, actually preparing to bring it down, to be secured”
There likely would have been more victims if workmen hadn’t already cleared the area of traffic and people to prepare for lowering the crane. “It’s something of a miracle that there was not more of an impact.”
A few wind gusts of 20-25 mph were reported between 8 and 9 a.m. Friday in Manhattan, according to data from Weather Underground.
The equipment that collapsed is known as a crawler crane, which consists of an upper carriage, or boom, mounted on a crawler-type undercarriage that can be moved from one location to another. The boom is capable of hoisting 330 tons of weight.
The City Department of Buildings inspectors checked the crane Thursday morning, when workers installed an extension to the upper boom.
The city issued orders for all crawler cranes across the city to be secured as investigators tried to determine the cause of Friday’s accident. It has been the city’s first major crane collapse since 2008.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said municipal building officials had failed to implement the many recommendations from a 2014 audit on construction crane safety.
A wall collapse that killed three people in Melbourne has now attracted more than half a million dollars in fines for those involved.
A Melbourne sign company which erected an advertising board on a wall that fell and killed three people on Swanston Street in 2013 has been fined $250,000.
Sandringham firm, Aussie Signs, was hired to install a 3.2-metre high billboard at the Grocon building site in Melbourne in late 2011.
In March 2013, high winds were recorded in Melbourne and the timber billboard and the brick wall it was attached to fell onto the footpath on Swanston Street.
Judge David Parsons said the breach by the company was one of the most serious kind.
In an earlier hearing, the court heard that neither Grocon — which was in charge of the building site — nor Aussie Signs had sought a safety or structural assessment to determine the structural integrity of the wall, which was built in 1971 and was exposed to the elements.
They also failed to get a building permit for the sign, and had done no tests to determine what impact winds would have on the wall.
- 2008: The old Carlton and United Breweries site is bought, most of the former buildings have already been demolished
- The wall, constructed in 1971, was left free-standing
- 2011: The Grocon company gives Aussie Signs the green light to attach advertising hoarding
- A subcontractor, Jonathan Westmoreland, engaged to attach cladding, with Aussie Signs overseeing installation
- March 2013: The wall collapses, killing three people
- November 2014: Grocon Victoria Street Pty Ltd fined $250,000
- May 2015: Westmoreland fined $7,500
- Feb 2016: Aussie Signs Pty Ltd fined $250,000
Published By: ABC on 4 Feb 2016