Crane safety checks continue after worker death

Monday, 17 September, 2018

Crane safety checks continue after worker death

Safety checks on more than 60 Raimondi cranes are being verified by WorkSafe Victoria, following a tragic incident at Box Hill on 6 September.

Clark Cranes, which owns and sells Raimondi cranes, has now inspected the hoist rope termination assembly, also known as the wedge socket, on all but one of the Raimondi cranes in service in Victoria. All checked cranes are able to return to service.

Specialist technicians engaged by WorkSafe are continuing to visit Raimondi crane sites to verify the company’s safety checks.

A team of engineers from Raimondi’s head office in Italy arrived in Melbourne this week and is assisting WorkSafe with its investigation.

WorkSafe investigators suspect that the failure or malfunction of the hoist rope termination assembly, which connects the hoist rope to the jib, is likely to have been a contributory factor in last week’s incident at Box Hill, in which a kibble carrying concrete dropped from a crane, striking three workers.

A 48-year-old man died, a 28-year-old man sustained life-threatening injuries and a 27-year-old man sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the incident.

Clark Cranes commenced checks of Raimondi cranes on Friday, 7 September and WorkSafe also warned owners and operators of other makes to check the component, which is common to most cranes.

WorkSafe has also urged construction companies whose employees are performing tasks on sites where cranes are operating to review their work practices to ensure workers are safe.

WorkSafe Acting Executive Director of Health and Safety Paul Fowler said that all construction companies on sites with cranes needed to consider how loads could be moved without putting workers at risk.

“Working around cranes is inherently dangerous, and construction companies have a duty, as far as reasonably practicable, to ensure loads do not travel over or are suspended above workers,” Fowler said.

“This requires careful planning and daily communication between work groups on site, and may mean that more time has to be taken to complete a task.

“WorkSafe inspectors will continue to check that this is occurring when they visit sites that are using cranes.”

Image credit: © Kunz

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