Man Injured at Crane Site Awarded $1.7 Million

overhead crane inspections

MOBILE - A man who suffered severe injuries from an accident occuring during the installation of an overhead crane at the new ThyssenKrupp steel mill was recently awarded a $1.7 million civil judgment against three companies.

The thirty-one year-old Christopher Hill sustained injury when the manlift he was using to install an overhead crane fell about 25 feet to the ground after its wire ropes were severed.

Hill suffered a broken femur in his right leg, head trauma, and a temporary loss of consciousness as a result of the fall. He was able to return to work two months later, using a cain, after having a steel rod inserted into his body from his hip to his knee. Hill also developed post traumatic arthritis in his knee.

It is believed that that the fall and subsequent injuries could have been avoided had routine inspections of the equipment been performed. Hill's attorney, Lucy Tufts (Cunningham Bounds LLC), said "If only mechanics would have checked the equipment, the damage would have been obvious." It was Tufts' opinion that the routine inspections were missed because the owner of the manlift, All Crane, did not want its mechanics to work overtime and, therefore, stopped performing the inspections.

The jury awarded $1 million in compensatory damages against TEK Aerial Lifts, All Crane Rental of Alabama, and SMP Welding. In addition, the jury ordered All Crane's owner to pay $700,000 in punitive damages.

It is not yet clear whether the defendants will appeal the decision to the Alabama Supreme Court.


Waterfront Crane Collapse Caught on Camera

WALDPORT, OR - Officials say a waterfront crane buckled after the load it was lifting got snagged on a power line. Fortunately, the electricity to line had been turned off.

Click below to watch the crane as it collapses.

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5 Reasons to Qualify Riggers and Signalpersons

rigger and signalperson training

Why Should You Qualify Your Riggers and Signalpersons?

OSHA standards require that a qualified rigger be used for any activity related to hoisting, assembly, and disassembly. Qualified riggers must also be used when workers are hooking, guiding a load, unhooking, or connecting a load.

In regards to riggers and signalpersons, "qualified" and "certified" are not synonymous. A crew person can be a certified rigger or signal person without being qualified for all types of loads. OSHA defines a "qualified" rigger or signal person as someone who 1) holds a degree, certificate, or professional standing, 2) has extensive knowledge, experience, and training, and 3) can display their abilities successfully.

Though it is true that a rigger or signalperson does not have to be qualified to handle every crane site job, it is ideal to qualify your entire crew for the reasons below.

  • OSHA - The first (and most obvious) reason to have qualified riggers and signalpersons is to be compliant with OSHA standards
  • SAFETY - Sending riggers and signalpersons to qualified training will help reduce the risk of accidents at crane job sites.
  • EFFICIENCY - Having qualified riggers or signal persons means you will not have to perform the extensive independent research to confirm all the requirements are being met
  • QUICKNESS - The rigger and signal persons training classes by the experts at Ultimate Crane make it simple to certify your entire crew certified fast. We can easily handle large classes in every session.
  • EASE OF MIND - Remove worry and pressure by having your crew certified by the some of the best instructors in the state.

Improper Crane Inspections Leads to 2 Citations in NYC Collapse

crane inspections

NEW YORK CITY - Both a crane operator and a project contractor have been cited in the crane collapse incident in New York early last month. Their culpability seems to lie in the fact that neither party followed safety protocol and failed to get proper crane inspections before operating the unsafe rig.

The crane collapse occurred January 9 in New York City while helping to build an office building in the Long Island borough. Reports indicate that at least seven workers were injured as a result of the collapse.

New Yorkers are not new to crane collapses stemming from inadequate crane inspections and neglect. For many, the recent collapse is reminiscent of the two fatal crane collapses in 2008. Both of those collapsed were related to fake inspections, falsified documents, and other cases of corruption and neglect. Some of the parties involved were charged with manslaughter, though all parties so charged were later acquitted.

The 2008 crane collapses fueled a movement for better safety regulations, more intense crane inspections, and an increase in crane inspectors and crane checkers. The latest collapse will no doubt reinvigorate the movement for stricter inspections and general safety regulations at job sites where cranes are used.


World's Largest Quay Cranes Set Sail for London

It has been reported that three extremely large quay cranes have left China and are currently in route to London. At almost 500 foot tall, they are taller than the London Eye and said to be the world's largest quay cranes. Each crane, manufactured by Zhenhua Port Machinery Company in Shanghai, has the ability to lift cargo from the largest of container ships.

“The size of the cranes future proofs the port, allowing London Gateway to handle the next generation of ultra-large container ships. These cranes are among the most advanced in the industry, assisting our operatives to deliver a reliable and consistently high level of productivity," says Tim Halhead, the operations director at the London Gateway. Many are hopeful that the arrival of the cranes will bring about substantial cost reductions to importers and exporters.


London Helicopter Collides With Crane, Two Dead

Crane Inspections Helicopter Crash in London

LONDON - A helicopter pilot who diverted from his original flight path due to bad weather collided with a tower crane atop The Tower, a tall edifice in South London. Two were killed as a result of the crash and seven were treated for injury. The two fatalities included the helicopter pilot and a man who was on the ground. Most of those being treated for injury appear to have been struck by debris from the crash.

Around 80 firefighters were on the scene working to put out several fires. Some of the wreckage was ablaze on the streets and two buildings caught close to the accident caught fire.

The helicopter was originally scheduled to land in Elstree in Hertfordshire but requested to be diverted to a London heliport due to inclement weather. The pilot of the Agusta 109 lightweight, twin-engine, helicopter is believed to be the only person on board when the crash occurred.

London officials are mourning the loss of the two lives but are thankful that the damage and fatalities were somewhat minimal. The crash occurred in a busy and densely populated area of South London and was originally feared to have caused more than a dozen fatalities.

The Civil Aviation Authority issued a statement saying the pilots had been notified previously of the crane that was involved in the crash. Parts of the crane are still hanging from the building.

Erin Rogers, a bystander who was awaiting her morning bus, said, "It was a bit surreal actually. I just had a coffee in my hand. I looked up, heard a bang and saw bits of crane debris falling to the floor. Then the helicopter was in flames. The rest of the people at the bus station were looking on and going 'What was that.' It's something that I never will forget."

Christmas Tree Buckles Mobile Crane Boom

Texas Crane Inspections

ATLANTA - A mobile crane that was recently employed to take down an mega-sized Christmas tree atop the Macys store experienced equipment failure when the weight of the 65- foot tree buckled its boom this past Thursday. Experts are saying that the boom collapsed due to overloading and excessive side loading. Fortunately, no one was was injured in the accident and the damage to the edifice is very minimal.

The Link Belt mobile crane used to remove the tree was said to be rigged with a completely extended main boom and a swingaway extension.

Those familiar with the history of the Atlanta Macys jokingly attributed the blame of the mishap to a jinx citing an incident two years ago when the tree broke in two during installation and had to be removed and replaced.

ANSI Accreditation Given to NCCCO

crane inspections texas

The recent high-profile crane equipment failures in Dallas, New York, and Sydney, have served to increase the scrutiny surrounding crane inspections. Prior to these events, many in the crane industry have long desired better guidelines and requirements regarding the inspection of cranes in order to ensure the safety of their machines. To address these issues, the CCO Crane Inspector Certification program was established in the fall of 2011 in cooperation with the Crane Association of America. Industry insiders believed to this be a momentous step in the right direction and were hopeful that the movement to increase the quality of crane inspections would continue to gain momentum. Some of these hopes were realized this month as the movement reached a milestone. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and its Personnel Certification Accreditation Committee (PCAC) recently announced that the reach of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) ANSI accreditation has been extended to the CCO Crane Inspector certification program. As a result of the move, the CCO program will now be accredited by ANSI to the ISO/IEC International Standard for organizations that certify personnel.

The decision to include the CCO Crane Inspector program into NCCCO's ANSI accreditation was made after multiple tests and detailed audits were conducted with NCCCO's management systems. The heavy scrutiny applied to the organization prior to the decision also included psychometric procedures, administrative processes, and the test development protocol of the organization.

Responding to the recent news, ANSI Senior Director Roy Smith, PhD, said, "Achieving ANSI accreditation is a major undertaking... and NCCCO can be very proud of this accomplishment. No other accreditation process demands the degree of psychometric or management disclosure that ANSI requires for accreditation under ISO 17024."