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Crane goes over in Norway

A mobile crane overturned in Haugesund, Norway last night while lifting a tower crane jib. The crane operator was pulled out of the cab by work colleagues and was apparently unhurt.
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Both cranes were involved in a tandem lift when the incident occurred

The crane, a five axle All Terrain owned and operated by Nordic Crane was we understand removing the jib from the large dockside tower crane, when it appears to have either been heavier than expected or was taken out of radius by wind causing an overload.
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The crane appears to have been lifting the tower crane's jib at the time

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The crane's boom was severely damaged

No one else was harmed or affected by the incident. Unusually in this type of incident the crane’s carrier cab broke free from its mounting points and was thrown to the ground, suggesting a severe impact.
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The crane's carrier cab broke free from its mounting points

Nordic Crane is on site and co-operating with the investigation.


We have since been informed that the two cranes were involved in a tandem lift removing the tower crane's jib. The other crane in question – also owned by Nordic Crane – sustained damage to its boom.


Good Afternoon Mr Editor,

Thank you to Richard Krabbendam for his excellent explanation of this potentially Fatal Incident in Norway, October 2012. Having now read the actual Spec sheet for this excellent, safe and highly reliable Grove GMK 5220 crane, owned and operated by NORDIC CRANES Ltd of Norway, I write to confirm.

1. With Three (3) Hydraulic Extensions out, this Crane was operating at or near Minimum Radius with circa 27.2 Metres Boom length.

2. If the Kroll Tower Crane Jib had an unladen weight of 36 tonnes, with two cranes acting in Tandem then this equates to 50% each, which is 18 tonnes. Therefore with the UK Standard 20% Safety margin, this means that 21.6 tonnes SWL should have been in the Lift Plan.

3. When this Crane then went out of Radius, Nordic Cranes own Spec sheet clearly shows that to lift 22 tonnes required that this particular Grove crane be fitted with 77 tonnes of Ballast. Repeat 77 tonnes of Ballast should have been been fitted on the Rear of the superstructure of this Grove GMK 5220 crane, with all four (4) Outriggers fully Extended to 8.1 meters, with Large and suitable Pads to spread the very high vertically imposed load over the widest possible area of hard standing.
( See the intersections of Lines 9 and 20 of Nordic Cranes own SWL chart expressly for this Grove GMK 5220 crane).

Therefore the fact that this Crane Tipped over during this lift comes as No surprise, as it was entirely Foreseeable for anyone who cared to look, that to attempt this 21.6 tonne Lift with NO BALLAST fitted to this crane made this a highly dangerous act. Thus confirming that only Lightning is Accidental, all the rest of these dangerous 'Incidents' ( Not Accidents) are not Accidental at all. But instead are VG examples of Unsafe Acts, Unsafe Machines or Unsafe Working Practices.
( The fact that this Crane Overturned was not intended, does not make it Accidental)

This particular lift should have been Risk-Assessed, Pre-planned and Drawn-Up as a Written 'Lift Plan' with all potential Hazards ( Like going out of Radius) taken into account in the planning stage. All Crane Lift Management Functions and Decisions should be taken by an Independent Appointed Person, ( See BS. 7121, part 3) not the Crane Driver, for he should should never be a Judge in his own Cause. Finally and in closing far too many good Men have been Killed on the Ground over the years by this kind of Dangerous and Negligent Act, so please let no-one describe this Dangerous Incident as an Accident, as it was not Accidental at all and on Friday 15th January 1988, one of those Victims of Crane Negligence was my Father in Law David Stanford (d), killed at work by an NCK 605 Crane.

In short, Never lift without Ballast Blocks in place and Always Prepare for the Unexpected, for Fate Favours the Prepared Mind.

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby BA

Jan 13, 2013
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