The article below from Keoland Television relates that another fatality occurred while a worker was near a crane. It has been said that 85% of all related fatalities from crane upsets are to workers in the area of the crane, not to the crane operators. This has nothing to do with any particular fault of the operators, just a fact of the situations.
I've seen reports of quite a number of crane related incidents that resulted in fatalities this year and many more where, fortunately, did not result in a fatality. Several of these incidents resulted from unstable foundation for cranes. This occurred, in some cases, where a crane was set up on mats and the ground beneath the mats gave way. Others appear to have been caused by the lack of proper footing for the outriggers. It is of utmost importance that, prior to making a lift that ALL parties participating in the lift plan out ALL procedures and precautions involved, especially when working on disturbed or unstable soils. Pre-lift planning is so important, as related to this incident.
OSHA Investigates Construction Accident
There's no construction activity at the southwest Sioux Falls school site Tuesday, just a few workers analyzing the tipped crane. An officer from OSHA is among them.
OSHA's Area Director Bruce Beelman says, "Generally speaking, when there is a fatal accident we will conduct a complete and thorough comprehensive inspection of that entire work site."
Beelman can't say yet what led to Monday's accident. But that's what he hopes can be found. While initial reports from police say the crane sank into the ground, OSHA will also investigate how that crane was being used.
“The condition of the crane, the position of the boom and all of the other elements related to the operation,” says Beelman.
OSHA investigates an average of 12 work related deaths between South and North Dakota each year. Of which, Beelman says 30 to 40 percent happen on construction sites. That's why he says it’s important to look at every aspect of the accident.
Beelman says, "That's the reason why we do have a very high priority and have many local emphasis programs and regional emphasis programs related to construction activity."
Above all else, OSHA representatives hope they can learn from Monday's accident to prevent similar mishaps in the future.
© 2008 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.