TOWER CRANE SAFETY -
IS ENOUGH BEING DONE?
Construction sites by their very nature are extremely dangerous places and it is understandable why, today, so many contractors now make site safety a priority. Unfortunately, too many workers assume that because they have the right level of personal protection equipment (PPE) - boot, hat, high-visibility jacket, gloves, goggles, etc - that they are safe.
If only it was that simple. PPE is what it says it is - personal protection - just like a seat belt in a car. The right equipment offers some protection but it does not prevent accidents or incidents from occurring.
Tower Crane Safety
Because they are invariably high-profile incidents, fatalities associated with tower cranes tend to dominate news reporting. Failure of a tower crane standing some 100 m high has the potential to cause fatalities both on and off site as well as cause severe damage to adjacent building and other structures. Consequential disruptions to site operations are also significant.
However, despite tighter regulations, increasing training and availability of technology, tower crane incidents involving a fatality are still all too common.
There are four major areas that lead to tower crane failure:
- operators hitting another crane ropes, jib or structure.
- installers/erectors failing to implement proper procedures during erection, dismantling or climbing operations.
- structural or mechanical failure due to inappropriate maintenance procedures.
- manufacturing defect.
There are few failures due to manufacturing defects. Most manufacturers of all type of cranes are rigorous in thorough testing of each model. This is not only to ensure that it meets all regulations and standards but also because these companies recognize the seriousness of failure at height or during a lifting operation. Building cranes to such demanding specifications is expensive.
This inevitably means that there will always be the unscrupulous manufacturers who use inferior materials, lower standards of engineering and incorrect lifting data. Such cranes will, however, always have high-quality pain applied and a very attractive price. Contractors World believe there is no place for such manufacturers and will highlight product failures for such products whenever they occur.
Apart from creating on-site incidents, sub-standard cranes also force regulators to implement measures that impact on all companies.
Training, Supervision & Technology
As many contractors are demonstrating, ensuring high quality training of all operatives, constant supervision to ensure agreed working methods are adhered to and mandatory use of available technology can eliminate most serious crane incidents.
In future issues we will look at ways to reduce crane relate incidents while increasing productivity and efficiency.
We invite your comments and suggestions.
Contractors World, together with leading anti-collision and zoning system pioneer, SMIE, are considering a special conference at Bauma 2010 dedicated to the subject of tower crane safety, highlighting the risks and debating possible solutions.
We already have the support of world’s experts on various issues of tower crane safety ranging from:
• Planning the installation and removal.
• Selection of the right crane(s) for the site.
• Appropriate training of personnel.
• Maintenance of critical crane components.
• Using technology to aid the operator.
• Technology for use by site personnel in
improving logistics management.
Register your interest for this FREE conference now
and we will keep you up-to-date on planning, speakers, etc. (No obligation)
If you are interested in making a presentation please contact
Roger Lindley -