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Date PostedOctober 20, 2013

Fatality during Crane Operation Accident


Image source: http://www.katu.com/news/local/LifeFlight-called-to-Sandy-construction-site-222743541.html?tab=gallery&c=y&img=1

A crane accident has taken place which claimed the life of a worker and caused 3 others to be injured. The incident took place in Sandy, Oregon in the United States but has a lesson that workers on this side of the world can also learn from.

The incident occurred during crane operations when the crane was lifting trusses for roof construction when one of the trusses tipped, the others followed and fell into the building. The trusses fell onto one worker and injured another 3.

This excerpt from a post on www.Katu.com briefly details what happened:

The incident happened just before 3 p.m. in the 45000 block of Southeast Jadrny Road, the site of a residential construction project.

Officials at the scene say a crane was lifting trusses for roof construction when one of 13 trusses started to tip and the rest cascaded along with it and fell inside the building.

The falling trusses killed one worker and badly injured another worker, who had to be flown by LifeFlight to a hospital. Two others with minor injuries were transported by ambulance.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is heading up an investigation into what happened. The workers are with Stalcup Roofing & Construction.

Source: http://www.katu.com/news/local/LifeFlight-called-to-Sandy-construction-site-222743541.html

Although cranes play an important role in the way we move and transport materials and equipment and without them certain construction projects would be virtually impossible, they can also be a serious hazard, as this incident clearly demonstrates.

Firstly before work even begins, only trained, certified and competent employees should be allowed to use this equipment. We need to understand the complexity involved in crane operation and the lifting of loads on construction sites.

One of the most important elements in ensuring safe crane operation is paying attention to slings. The slings that cranes use to hold suspended loads are a key element in material handling involving cranes. Slings are made of a variety of materials. We determine what type of sling to use by the size and type of load and the environmental conditions in the work area, this should be decided with careful planning and consideration of the task.

Before work begins cranes and slings should be thoroughly inspected and well maintained because they need to be in perfect order to perform correctly and safely.

The 2 greatest concerns when lifting heavy loads using cranes is dropping the load and someone being hit by the falling load, which is what happened in the case above.

In order to absolutely prevent accidents with cranes and slings, a combination of thorough inspection, trained and skilled operators and safety-conscious workers on site is required– a rare but necessary combination.

Also remember that cranes and slings have restrictions and limitations to what they can handle. These restrictions need to be checked carefully before the equipment to be used is chosen.

Cranes and slings are designed and built to help protect both operators and those in the area from hazards but employers, operators and other workers also have an important role to play in ensuring safety. For example workers should avoid at all costs working underneath a load being lifted t avoid incidents like the one above from occurring.


Steven Asnicar is regarded as a leader across many fields of industry. In particular, his specialisation across the health, infrastructure, construction, resource and utility sectors has seen him successfully change the dynamics of these industries through the introduction of new strategic, marketing, training and technical frameworks. Steven works closely with industry peak bodies such as Safework Australia, Australian Logistics Council, National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) and the Council of Australian Governments in the development of new delivery standards and industry specific programs.

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