Monday, March 24, 2008

New York Crane Incident

OSHA Standards 1926.550(c)(5) Hammerhead Tower Cranes & 1926.251(1)(5) and (6) Rigging Equipment for Material Handling

The recent crane incident in New York City has received quite a bit of Newspaper and Television media coverage, especially since there were several fatalities caused by that situation. The media coverage indicated two major POSSIBLE causes of this incident. Number 1 was that a falling beam severed one of the tower crane’s anchor points causing the crane to topple and collapse. Number 2 was that a City Inspector was fired because the crane had not been properly inspected prior to beginning work. Either could have been the contributing factor that caused such incident

The OSHA Standard under the Hammerhead tower cranes, paragraph 5 states that “All hammerhead tower cranes in use SHALL meet the applicable requirements for design, construction, INSPECTION, and operating as prescribed by the manufacturer,”

If this report was correct that the Inspector had failed to properly inspect the crane’s installation, this person could have possibly prevented the incident.

The OSHA Standard under Materials Handling, Storage, Use and Disposal states that “(1)Rigging equipment for material handling shall be inspected prior to use on each shift and as necessary during its use to ensure that it is safe…” (5) Scope. This section applies to slings used in conjunction with other material handling equipment for the movement of material by hoisting, in employments covered by this part… and (6) Inspections. Each day before being used, the sling and all fastenings and attachments shall be inspected for damage or defects by a competent person designated by the employer. Additional inspections shall be performed during sling use, where service conditions warrant. Damaged or defective slings shall be immediately removed from service.”

It is quite possible that there will be more evidence found upon closer inspection of the crane that other factors may be proved to be the cause of this incident. I hesitate to use the word “Accident” in a case like this as “very few accidents just happen,” as most all incidents are “Caused.”

What I am leading up to is the fact that, on each job site, and in making lifts with cranes and rigging, each item MUST be CONSTANTLY watched to assure that each element of the equipment used is executed in the safest way possible.

Think – Safe Way Think – Safe Equipment

Think the Horse Sense Way

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