Thursday, January 29, 2009

OSHA Wants Changes In Crane Operations

OSHA Recommends Changes

In the article below from, Mary Ann Ford states that OSHA has recommendations some Horse Sense changes in the Inspection of cranes on ALL worksites.

Far too many crane Incidents occur due to the lack of REQUIRED maintenance and inspection to mobile cranes, particular on Construction projects. OSHA standards incorporate some ASME standards in regard to Mobile and Locomotive Cranes. The incident below notes that "boom hoist" wire ropes, as well as all other wire ropes Must be Inspected at specific periods of time, AND, at least, daily inspections of all parts of the cranes, cables, wire ropes and rigging equipment. Obviously these inspections had not been made. This caused not only the expense of new a new boom as well as other parts of the crane in question, but the failure caused the death of a construction worker within the reach of the crane's boom.

OSHA recommends changes to local business after fatal accident

The safety oversight agency recommends replacing wire ropes on a cranes boom, main and auxiliary hoists if there are more than six such breaks.

The report that followed a six-month investigation by OSHA said the crane was inspected by Hills Crane Inspection Service on Feb. 28 but the company “did not include an inspection of the entire length of wire rope as called for in the American Society of Mechanic Engineers, Mobile and Locomotive Cranes.”

Nick Walters, area director of OSHA, said failure to inspect the entire length of the wire rope on hoists “may not identify potential problems which would require the rope to be removed from service and could lead to an accident.”

OSHA recommended Area Erectors ensure annual or periodical inspections of the entire length of the wire ropes used in the hoists.

Barry Salerno, a team leader at OSHA, said Area Erectors was not fined in the accident because there was no evidence that the company knew the wire rope had breaks but simply didn’t replace it.

“They hired the crane inspection service and expected them to do the job as required by OSHA,” said Salerno.

That was part of the consideration in the agency’s findings, he said.

A call to Area Erectors was not immediately returned.

OSHA’s findings can not come into a court of law, said Christopher Doscotch, the Peoria attorney representing Dawe’s family in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the project’s general contractors, Johnston Contractors Inc. of Bloomington.

“The report is information for us and incomplete information at that,” said Doscotch. “It didn’t name the manufacturer of the rope or how many of the breaks were related to the stress of the crash.”

However, he said, it did identify another potential party to the lawsuit: Hills Crane Inspection Service.

In court documents filed by attorneys for Johnston Contractors, the company argued that it did not own, operate or maintain the crane or aerial lift.

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