31.01.2015

Fatal tower crane incident

A man died yesterday in Chicago after he was crushed by a descending climbing frame, half way up a tower crane.

The man, 45, was around 20 metres up the crane’s tower on a rest platform when, according to local reports, he was crushed by an ‘elevator’ as he leaned out from the tower. Looking at the photographs it is almost certain that was in fact a climbing frame that was being lowered at the time and that he got caught between tower and frame.
Emergency services rescue the stricken man

Co-workers managed the free the man from the frame and gave him CPR, until the emergency services arrived. They worked on him for a while, before using a fire rescue platform to take him to the ground. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. The crane is owned by Central Crane, part of the All group, while the general contractor Leopardo Companies.

We will update this item when we learn more.

Comments

Good Morning Mr Editor,

Worker Safety is my core value and is of great importance, not least because Safety affects all of us and in equal measures too : Therefore it would be remiss of me not to report this Three Month synopsis of Crane and Lifting Incidents from 28th Oct 2014 to 31st January 2015.

1. Sixteen (16) separate Incidents involving Cranes and/or Lifting Operations Killed Fourteen (14) Men since 28th October 2014.

2. These 16 Incidents involved One Mast Crane, One Tower, Two Crawlers and Four Truck Mounted Cranes. Plus One Telehandler, One Knuckleboom Crane, Two Quayside Cranes and Three AWP's.

3. Cause of Incident(s) were No Mats, No Outriggers, Contacts with Overhead Power Lines, Two Gusts of Wind, Five Dropped Loads and Six Fatal Falls from Height.

The most recent of which occurred last Friday 30th January 2015, when a Worker was Killed ( RIP Brother) by Crushing due to the descent of a ‘Climbing Frame’ used in Tower Crane Jack-up operations on a Construction site at the junction of Elm and State St in Chicago USA.

Therefore having now monitored a total of 590 Crane and Lifting Incidents since 7th May 2007, it is my submission to the Construction Industry Worldwide that Crane Safety is not getting better, in fact it could well be argued that the 14 Fatal Incidents above confirms it is getting worse, as these figures extrapolated over 2015, calculates as 56 Killed by Cranes and/or Lifting Operations and 64 Incidents in total.

Please let No-One describe these as ‘Crane Accidents’ for an ‘Accident' is only an ‘Accident’ if it is Accidental and to be Accidental it must be Not-Foreseeable, like Lightning. Yet for many of these Fatal Incident Victims these Incidents were entirely foreseeable due to No Risk Assessments, No Fall-Arrest Harness Worn and/or No ‘Safe System of Work’ to name but three of many Hazards present, all of which would have been clearly identified in advance by undertaking a "Suitable and Sufficient Risk Assessment” (see Reg 3(1) of The Management Regulations 1999 in UK) before attempting the Task.

Finally and in closing, if ever we are to resolve this appalling Death Toll, it requires some ‘Fresh Thinking’ on the part of the Crane Industry, starting with Non-Acceptance and Non-Use of the word ‘Accident’. Only then, can CEO's finally start to pro-actively Manage Crane Safety ?

Worker Safety is my core value, please make it a Core Value in all Crane and/or Lifting Operations.
My personal condolences to the Families of Crane Victims above, for I too have felt your pain as my Father In Law David Stanford was killed by an NCK 605 Crawler Crane

With Kindest Regards to all .
Mike Ponsonby BA

2 Feb 2015
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