Slewing crane crushes worker

Friday, 22 June, 2018

Slewing crane crushes worker

A Queensland worker sustained serious injuries after he was crushed by a truck-mounted crane in May 2018.

According to a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland incident alert, a dogger was packing up the chains of the 60-tonne mobile crane when it slewed, trapping him between the counterweights and a toolbox mounted on the truck.

Investigations into the incident are ongoing.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said in the incident alert that using a mobile crane on any worksite introduces the risk of collisions if sufficient clearances are not maintained around the crane. Collisions can be with other cranes, buildings, overhead powerlines, doggers, riggers and other workers on-site.

In addition to sufficient exclusion zones, a reliable method of signalling between the crane operator and dogger is essential for safe crane operation. Failure to implement a reliable method of communication may lead to unsafe crane operation, resulting in dropped loads or collisions.

The alert goes on to say that an effective means of communication is particularly important where:

  • the crane operator cannot see the load
  • the crane operator cannot see the load’s landing area
  • the crane operator cannot see the travel path of the load, crane or part of the crane (eg, slewing counterweight)
  • the crane operator cannot see the dogger or other workers in the work area
  • the crane operator is not in a position to make an accurate judgement of distance
  • it is possible for the crane to come into contact with overhead powerlines.

While the dogger approaches the crane, the PCBU must have adequate procedures in place to ensure the crane is immobilised and the crane operator is aware of the dogger’s location.

Image credit: ©

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