An issue that keeps coming up in the construction industry is the importance of exercising caution when working with Tower Cranes.
An accident which happened on a construction site in The UK is an example of the kinds of consequences that can be expected when tower crane safety is neglected. The incident resulted in the public and construction workers escaping with minor injuries, but there have been a number of other cases where workers (and the public) were more seriously injured and some killed.
During the incident 3 people were injured when timber and glass fell from a tower crane on a busy street in Leith. A passing car driver was lucky to escape unscathed when the crane dropped its load directly onto his vehicle from several storeys above.
This post on PPConstructionSafety.com details what happened:
A local shopkeeper told the Scotsman that he ran from his shop to see if he could help. He stated:
“He was very lucky not to be killed. He was shocked and scared but said he was OK. All the glass had smashed and gone through onto the seats. I believe one of the builders was hurt as well. I don’t know how it happened.”
Debris was strewn across the road which was closed until 1pm while it was cleared. A dented railing, four floors up, showed where the load first impacted before crashing to the ground below. One person was treated for minor head injuries while the others were treated for shock.
Work involving cranes is always high risk and therefore greater care should be undertaken to ensure that risks are minimised.
It is important only certified, qualified and experienced operators are tasked with these kinds of crane activities.
It is also important that when lifting certain loads, exclusion zones are set up to protect the workers below as well as the public, this is something that is often not done because it is perceived as a waste of time but as this incident proves it is a vital and necessary step.
Improperly secured loads are a common source of crushing on work sites because of the size and weight of loads. On a construction site building materials, equipment and debris are some of the items lifted so when they fall there is the possibility that the load will hit workers below, they cause crushing injuries, some fatal.
The article on PPConstructionSafety.com goes on to explain:
The site is being developed by the Port of Leith Housing Association as a mixed housing and retail development. Keith Anderson, chief executive of the Port of Leith Housing Association said:
“We regret that this incident occurred and we are thankful that no-one was seriously hurt.”
A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed HSE were ”probing” the incident, adding:
“We received a call at around 10.40am involving a crane that dropped its load, and some debris which struck a vehicle. The driver was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for shock. A construction worker was also taken to hospital for minor injuries. The road was closed, but it reopened just before 1pm.”