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Tower Crane Accidents: Causes, Concerns, and Correct Procedures. Presented By: Jim Getting, Ph.D. Consultation Education & Training (CET) Division Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth www.michigan.gov/miosha (517) 322-1809.

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Tower Crane Accidents:Causes, Concerns, and Correct Procedures

Presented By: Jim Getting, Ph.D.Consultation Education & Training (CET) Division

Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth

www.michigan.gov/miosha(517) 322-1809


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Receive MIOSHA CET Training and Division Announcements Via Email

MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division has established an electronic mailing list (LISTSERV) to inform subscribers of upcoming MIOSHA training programs and announcements.

If you would like to be added to this list, please visit:

www.michigan.gov/mioshatraining

If you need further assistance, please contact:

MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training Division

(517) 322-1809


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MIOSHA Training Institute EmailCertification

What is it?

Through this certification you will begin the process of developing a safety and health management system while becoming familiar with MIOSHA Standards and other relevant topics.


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MIOSHA Training Institute EmailCertification

What are the benefits?

  • Conducted by credible MIOSHA consultants

  • CEUs, CSPs, Maintenance points

  • Validation of a set of knowledge

  • Standardized curriculum path

  • Increased recognition for employee & employer

  • Tracking of course completion


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Objectives Email

  • Analyze the scope and magnitude of the problem.

  • Summarize recent tower crane accidents.

  • Describe specific actions that can prevent tower crane accidents.


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Tower Cranes: Defined Email

Luffing Jib

Hammerhead


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How many tower crane accidents? Email

  • Short Answer: Nobody knows exactly.

  • Web sites inconsistent, not comprehensive.

  • Industry sources are not comprehensive.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

    Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI)

    • Commonly used and widely accepted.

    • Limitations.

      • Fatalities only.

      • Data sometimes incomplete, little accuracy checking.

    • McCann (2008) cites 632 crane related fatalities from 1992 – 2006.

    • First report from CPWR cited 323 crane related fatalities from 1992 – 2006*.

* As reported in Greene, M.V. (Sept 2008) Many sided problem. Safety and Health Magazine. National Safety Council.


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BLS Classifications Email

Two Groups May Apply:

  • Portal, tower, and pillar (grouping comes from ASME B30.4).

  • Hammerhead cranes.

Portal Crane

(portalcranes.com)

Pillar crane (hoists.apluswhs.com)

Hammerhead Crane (freefoto.com)


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Tower Crane-Related Deaths in Construction by Year, 1992-2008

  • 1992 – 2007 Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries

  • 2008 data summarized from news sources


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Crane-Related Deaths in Construction by Year, 1992-2006 1992-2008

Data summarized by: McCann (2008) Crane Related Deaths and Injuries in Construction. Center for Construction Research and Training.

Original Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Research File.


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Tower Crane Versus All Crane Deaths in Construction by Year, 1992-2008

  • 1992 – 2007 Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

  • 2008 data summarized from news sources.


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Expected Frequency of Tower Crane Accidents and Fatalities 1992-2008

  • 2.1% of cranes are tower cranes.

    • 2000 tower cranes and 96000 cranes total*.

  • 5% of crane accidents are tower cranes

    • (16 of 306)**.

  • 42 crane related fatalities per year (average)**.

  • Expect .84 tower crane fatalities per year, if accidents were proportional.

  • Actual for 1997-2008 = 34 fatalities or 2.83 per year.

  • OSHA press release (2008)

  • McCann (2008)


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Is it just recently that tower cranes have started having accidents?

  • No.

  • Crane type has changed:

    • internal vs external to the structure.

  • Far more tower cranes in use.

  • There appears to be an increasing incident rate.


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What Does It All Mean? accidents?

  • Increased rate has been happening for years, but barely noticed.

  • Still very infrequent compared to:

    • 5 fatal falls in Michigan in 2008.

    • 3 electrocutions in Michigan in 2008.

    • Crane accidents in general.

  • Digital cameras, 24 hour news:

    • Sometimes cause us to over-estimate dangers.

    • In this case, it made us more aware of an important problem!


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Recent Tower Crane Accidents accidents?

  • New York, (3/15/2008), 7 dead.

    • Rigging failed, collar dropped, crane fell.

  • Miami, FL, (3/25/2008), 2 dead, 5 injured.

    • Dropped section of crane while “jumping” crane

  • New York, NY, (5/30/2008), 2 dead.

    • Weld on turntable fails, jib and cab fall.

  • New York, NY, (9/4/2008), 1 dead.

    • Guardrail removed. Erector falls.

  • Annapolis, MD, (4/30/2008), 1 dead.

    • Crushed between boom sections while disassembling.

  • Bellevue, WA, (11/16/2006), 1 dead.

    • Inadequate base. Collapse onto apartment.


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Review of accidents: accidents?Bellevue, Washington, 11/16/2006

  • Crane severed 15’ from base.

  • No load on crane.

  • Landed on 3 buildings.

  • One bystander killed.

  • Minor injuries to operator.

  • Operator drug use?

  • Excessive leaning? 3 feet.

  • Proper weathervane prior to incident? 80 mph winds.

Photo courtesy: Andrea James and John Iwasaki (Nov 17, 2006) Seattle Post Intelligence


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Bellevue, Washington, accidents?11/16/2006


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Bellevue, Washington, 11/16/2006 accidents?

Citations:

  • $5,600 – Magnusson Klemencic Associates – Engineering firm that designed the foundation.

    • The base did not meet manufacturer requirements.

  • $9,200 – Lease Crutcher Lewis – The general contractor.

    • Not ensuring the crane was maintained and used properly.

    • Not inspecting the tower.

    • Hanging two large banners on it that could affect the crane's operations.


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12/1/2006 accidents?Near Miss

  • Another Bellevue, Washington.

  • Cracks in the tower.

  • Cause: Water collected inside. Weepholes were clogged. Water froze and burst the steel.

Photo courtesy: Scott Eklund(Dec 1, 2006) Seattle Post Intelligence


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12/1/2006 accidents?Near Miss

  • Duct Tape???

  • Note: same company erected this one as the crane that fell in Bellevue.

  • Note – 2 other cranes were found to have 2’ long hairline cracks in the next week in the same city.

Photo courtesy: Scott Eklund(Dec 1, 2006) Seattle Post Intelligence


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Review of Accidents accidents?New York: March 15, 2008


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New York: March 15, 2008 accidents?

  • Seven Fatalities.

  • Rigger offered FOUR new slings by construction manager.

  • No inspection of slings.

  • Used FOUR slings. Manufacturer said use EIGHT.

  • Did not use softeners.

Photo courtesy: New York Times


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New York: March 15, 2008 accidents?

Photo courtesy: New York Times


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The Red Flag That Got Overlooked accidents?New York: December 15, 2007

  • Load dropped. One worker injured.

  • Lifting over construction office trailers.

  • Sling failure – 14K load with a 19K nylon sling.

Photo courtesy: Jin Lee (Dec 14, 2007) New York Times


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Review of Accidents accidents?Miami: March 25, 2008

  • Two Fatalities.

  • Dropped section of mast while “jumping” crane.

  • Crashed through house being used for storage.

  • One deceased was insurance safety inspector.


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Review of Accidents accidents?New York: May 30, 2008

  • Two Fatalities.

  • Failure of a repair weld on turntable.

  • Jib and cab fall.

  • Crane was a Kodiak, 1982 or older.

Photo courtesy Associated Press, Dima Gavrysh


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Canada Tower Crane Accident Review accidents?

Includes: Near Miss, Property Damage, Injury, and Fatality Accidents

Year Number of Incidents

2005 19

2006 15

2007 19

2008** 19

Total 72

* WorksafeBC.com

** Through September of 2008


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Canada Tower Crane Accident Type accidents?

* WorksafeBC.com


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What Do We Learn: accidents?The 331 Rule Applies

Fatal/Catastrophic

Injury/Property Damage

Near Misses


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What Do We Learn? accidents?Causes of Accidents

  • Lack of sufficient crane inspections.

  • Improper repairs.

  • Failure to follow manfacturers’ procedures.

    • Operators, riggers, erectors, crane owners, general contractors.

  • Failure to follow OSHA/MIOSHA rules.

    • Operators, riggers, erectors, crane owners, general contractors.

  • Human error.

    • Miscalculation.

    • Forgetting.

    • Misunderstanding, miscommunication

  • Failure to act:

    • If something looks wrong, DO SOMETHING about it!


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So is it Over-hyped? accidents?

  • NO!!!!

  • Accident severity warrants the attention.

  • Many non-fatal accidents.

  • Increased use in the future.

  • Changing nature of use:

    • self erecting.

  • World market: use some places is scary!

Photo from Dubai


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What Can I Do to Help? accidents?

General Contractors

  • Know the crane inside and out.

    • Read the manual.

    • Meet with the owner, erector, operator.

    • Learn history of the crane.

      • Age.

      • Repairs/modifications/replacement/damage.

      • Strengths/weaknesses with crane model.

      • Where/how it has been used.

      • Previous inspection history.

  • Third party inspections before erecting.

  • Qualified erectors.


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What Can I Do to Help? accidents?

General Contractors

  • Operator certification and more.

  • Don’t push the schedule.

  • Process in place to verify correct procedures at every step.

  • Widen public barriers.

  • Watch for the near misses.


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What Can I Do to Help? accidents?

Subcontractors on site:

  • Know crane limits.

  • Stay on schedule – when plans change accidents happen.

  • Plan ahead – need to give operator and riggers advance information.

  • Keep job-site orderly – less visual distraction.

  • Observe “no lifting over” rules.

  • Report near misses.


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What Can I Do to Help? accidents?

Everybody:

  • Stay out from under loads.

  • No rigging or landing loads unless trained.

  • Be an inspector: keep an eye on the crane.

  • Report near misses, even the little things.

  • Help the operator, rigger, erector:

    • Remember they are humans who;

      • WILL make mistakes – forgets, misunderstands.

      • Get tired, frustrated, distracted.

    • Do not distract, interrupt their routines.

    • State things twice, have them repeat it back.

    • Keep site clean, orderly.

    • Keep job on schedule.


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Sources of Additional Info accidents?

  • ANSI Standard B30.3 – 1996 Construction Tower Cranes

  • Tower Crane Management: Avoiding Problems Through Proper Selection, Erection, Testing, Maintenance, Operation, and Dismantling (1985) D. E. Dickie; Construction Safety Association of Ontario.

  • http://towercraneaccidents.blogspot.com/ - Listing of tower crane accidents world wide.

  • http://www.craneoperator.com/index.htm - Listing of many crane accidents.

  • http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-21993.pdf - Proposed new OSHA rule: Cranes and Derricks in Construction.

  • http://www.liftlink.com/ - Lift and Crane Magazine.

  • http://www.cpwr.com - Research articles on safety, including McCann (2008) Crane Related Deaths and Injuries in Construction. Center for Construction Research and Training.


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Thank You for Attending accidents?

Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration

Consultation Education & Training Division

7150 Harris Drive, P.O. Box 30643

Lansing, Michigan 48909-8143

To request consultation, education

and training services, call (517) 322-1809

or

www.michigan.gov/miosha


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