Posts Tagged ‘operator’

Father dead, son critical after crane collapse during photoshoot in Brisbane

A man is dead and his son is in a critical condition after the crane they were in collapsed in Newstead, north of the Brisbane CBD, last night.

The pair were taking photographs from the bucket crane when it fell onto Longland Street about 7.15pm.

Witnesses rushed to help and paramedics and firefighters were called to the scene, where they worked to remove the men from the crane.

“It was a tragic incident, very, very lucky, however, that there weren’t other pedestrians in its way,” witness James Small said.

The older man died and his son was taken to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in a critical condition, the Queensland Ambulance Service said.

The younger man remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Longland Street is closed today, with the crane and debris still strewn across the street.

Queensland Police has asked motorists to avoid the area.



Crane Collapses While Moving Church Steeple

The boom of a crane removing a 150 year old wooden steeple from a church in Milton, Nova Scotia, Canada on Friday, collapsed dropping it the ground and bringing down the local power lines.

The crane, a Link Belt 8690 truck crane, rented from All Erection was working with a full five section boom plus swing-away extension, and had lifted the steeple clear of the building when it appears to have been caught in the wind a little.

steeple crane 1

The crane lifts the steeple from the church with full stick

The crane slewed round and clearly sensing issues with the boom the operator started to lower it as fast as he could, but it was too late for the boom, the fourth section folded close to its base, dropping the load to the ground where it smashed into a large number of pieces. It also brought down a number of overhead lines tripping the power supply to the area.

crane steeple 2

As the operator tried to lower the load the boom gave way

Thankfully no was hurt or injured and the only damage was to the crane, the power lines and the steeple, which was the first stage in moving the old church to a new location in the town. Crowds came along to watch the event and a full video was taken of the lift as it  happened.

Check out the video below.


Annual Dielectric Test Required?

Question: I have an insulated bucket truck. Does it need to have an annual dielectric test if I’m not an electrician?

bucket truck dielectric

Answer: The short answer is YES. Ask yourself this question. Is there a chance that you may get near anything that may be charged electrically in the upcoming year? I mean ANYTHING (A tree, building, telephone pole, lit sign…..) If you can’t answer no to that question, your answer is yes.

Calling all Operators: $10,000 Grand Prize!

Cranes101 and Woods CRW are teaming up again to host the Northeast #2 Regional Qualifier for the CIC Crane Operator Skills Competition! The Qualifier will be held at Woods CRW’s newest facility in Carlisle, PA on June 6th. If you’re a skilled crane operator, you should seriously consider registering! The top two winners at the Qualifier will advance to the finals, which are being held at the ICUEE Expo Demo in Louisville, KY this October. All expenses are paid for, and the Grand Prize is a whopping $10,000 dollars! Space is limited – REGISTER TODAY!

To register, please visit:

For more information, watch the video below:

We hope to see you there!

Certification vs. Qualification

Let’s talk about a subject that’s very near and dear to OSHA and anybody who employs crane operators. That is: The difference between certification and qualification.

This is a hot topic at Washington D.C as we speak. OSHA has held up the crane operator certification for as long as November 2017, in the hopes of sorting out a number of items. This one item in particular, certification and qualification, has got to be keeping them busy. You may be wondering why we need to have both certification and qualification for crane operators. Let me explain…

Crane_OperatorCertification is a process that typically would follow training. A crane operator needs to be trained and trained properly. And when properly trained, the crane operator should be able to pass a test certifying that they have had training in crane operation and crane safety.

But training alone doesn’t qualify a crane operator to operate a crane; much like going to school doesn’t qualify a doctor to become a brain surgeon. There’s a level of experience that has to be achieved. That’s where certification ends and where qualification begins.

 Now, qualification is the act of ensuring that by virtue of the crane operators ability to run the crane, and having learned how to run that specific crane, would turn a certified crane operator into a qualified crane operator.

 OSHA recognizes the value in words that express this very topic, exactly how that separation is going to be handled in the OSHA standards. Now there’s no doubt, if you look historically at, not just cranes, but any type of heavy machinery or any type of equipment, a person that’s going to operate that equipment needs two basic features to be qualified to run them. One is training, and there is no substitute for training. And the other is experience, and there’s no substitute for experience. An operator needs to be trained and experienced. There’s no doubt about it.

Looking at the industry the way that I do, from the accident going back, when we consult after an accident has happened and get to the root cause of the accident it typically falls under one of the following categories:

  • A trained operator can easily have an accident doing something they’re not familiar with, even though they have training.
  • And an experienced operator, without the training, is equally as prone to having an accident.

I know I’ve seen a lot of kickback from operators who believe that training is not adequate to make a crane operator, and they’re in fact right, even though they may not know why. I’ve seen trained but inexperienced operators get into trouble with a crane.

But experience alone doesn’t make a crane operator. I have seen many cases where a person has run a crane for more than 20 years, but never had the proper training. This is the same crane operator who gets into trouble and when the investigation is over. All because of improper training.

I’ve seen people who’ve been operating cranes for 25 years, 30 years who still don’t know how to read a load chart, for instance. That’s where training comes in. You don’t typically pick that up by your experience. And knowing how to read a load chart doesn’t make you a crane operator either. You still need experience enough to qualify you.  That’s really the focus of what I’m telling you today.

pics 053

Getting experience every day!

I applaud the organizations that have set out to offer certification for crane operators.  Their job is truly an interesting one at the very least. At the end of the day, these organizations have to prove that the person has the knowledge of cranes by virtue of a written test that typically follows a classroom. And then, the ability to control the load or run the crane by virtue of a practical test. I see the organizations have put all kinds of stipulations on the practical test, and they occasionally get questioned. But if you take a step back and take a look at why they do what they do, you’ll understand.

First off, the practical test is a timed test,  so a person that was just getting lucky running a crane, isn’t going to do it on this practical test, because they are going to have to do it in the allotted time. A person who’s experienced at running a crane will do it very easily.  We’ve proven that right within our own business.

Also, a person that struggles with understanding load charts, for instance, but has all kinds of experience running a crane, can be equally as dangerous as a person who has no experience running a crane. This person won’t pass a written test unless they truly know the material. Going forward, these two facets of the crane business, when they’re followed, are absolutely going to make the crane business a safer business.

I’ve handled dozens of accidents, including crane accidents, and I can assure you there’s no reason for an accident to ever happen.  I haven’t seen one yet that didn’t fall into one category or the other, mostly lack of training.

The safety business is very unique. It ensures, and I can see it happening, that everyone is going to go home safely at the end of the day. I hope this little editorial will help you. We’re hoping that everybody out there who hasn’t had any kind of formal training, that’s been running a crane, should in fact get it.

That is OSHA’s thrust with the meeting that just happened here a couple of weeks ago in Washington D.C.  They want to ensure that every operator has formal training. I believe that it would be a real booster shot for the industry, certainly making the whole industry safer. Till next time, have a safe day and I hope you fair well out in the real world.