Archive for the ‘Crane Tips’ Category

More than Certification

The following was written by our wonderful friend, David Grafton, in response to a crane accident over in the UK.

“It is easy to point out what is wrong with a procedure –especially after it has been performed. This article is a good representation of 20/20 hindsight. Everyone who looks at these photos will know almost instantly that the crawler/track frames were not fully extended and the boom is at a very high angle. The crane tipped over, and came to rest on its counterweights. No injuries, possible little damage to the machine.

A closer look shows the crane was operating very close to an active roadway. The potential of injuries / fatalities to the traveling public is very high simply from the work taking place. Now add in the potential for a crane overturn due to a poor work platform, improper operation, loss of a suspended load, etc. and you can see the terrible possibilities. Note that the same would apply if the machine in question was a foundation drill rig.

Here in the US, crane operator certification is now mandatory. A large part of achieving certification is know how to safely operate a crane. Much of this information comes from the operators manual. I suspect there are several warnings in this crane’s manual indicating the danger of high boom angles, and not using the crane with the crawler/track frames fully extended. So why were they using this crane improperly?

This is where education and training come into play. Certification alone in no way assures the operator knows how to safely operate the crane they are assigned to. The operator must be educated and trained how to operate the crane, and a part of that training is to have them read and understand the operators manual – always. Hopefully, it is understood this applies to all types of deep foundation equipment, not just cranes.

As an employer, I suggest you begin the process of evaluating your equipment operators – not just cranes – to better understand their abilities for the tasks and equipment they are assigned to. Not only is it a requirement for crane operators now here in the US, it is a good idea, to ensure you do not set your equipment operators up for failure.

Have a safe day! “