Crane damages football pitch

A five axle crane overturned onto the football pitch at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastián, northern Spain yesterday.
The crane’s outriggers were short rigged

The crane, a 130 tonne Grove GMK5130/1 owned and operated by crane rental company Usabiaga, had been brought in to place new stairs into the upper tier of the new north stand.

The crane was set up with the outrigger beams facing the lift fully extended, while the two to the rear were set up with the beams retracted and jacks simply extended – in order to avoid damaging to the precious grass. However the operator raised the fully retracted main boom to its maximum elevation and swung over the side with full counterweight installed. The obvious thing happened – the crane tipped rearwards with the counterweight digging a substantial hole in the turf!
The fully elevated and retracted boom plus counterweight proved too much for the short rigged outrigger base

Fortunately no one was injured and the next game is not expected to take place at the stadium until the middle of September – so some time is available to try and repair the sacred home pitch of the local team Real Sociedad.

The new stand is part of a redevelopment to extend its seating capacity from 32,000 to around 42,300. The project is due for completion later this year.
The damage to the pitch is far greater than might have been caused by properly spread outrigger loads


Good Evening Mr Wood,

As you know, Lifting Operations are inherently dangerous due to having to defeat Gravity with every single lift. So as the Crane depicted above Tipped to the rear in Barcelona last week is Incident number 618 which has already Killed 548 Men, Women and Children Worldwide since 070507, with Two More Children Killed by a Pick and Carry Crane in India last week.

It is now 8yrs since you and I discussed this very subject in Edinburgh on 131011 regarding how to Raise Crane Safety Stds.

Moreover as you the Ex-CEO of CPA have been silent to date, it therefore follows that someone must speak up for the Dead, so I will.

My Database now confirms 618 Crane Incidents researched and recorded Worldwide since 070507 with 37% involving Mobile Cranes, with a very large percentage being Short Rigged, a very dangerous practice as it makes for an unstable Crane base, especially with Full Ballast fitted.
This Excellent Grove Machine depicted above in Barcelona is perfectly Safe if rigged correctly, but unsafe if Short Rigged, as confirmed by this Machine overturning to the rear.

Therefore it is now very obvious that the Crane Industry is SILENT on the initiatives required to improve Crane Safety Standards. Therefore may I suggest that

a) The Industry Starts a Crane Safety Training programme and call it How to Avoid Crane Incidents by Creating a Culture of Safety.

b) Please ensure that the Newtonian principles of Force, Mass and Gravity are also included in your Crane Safety Training proggramme, as is How to Calculate the Correct Mat Size required to minimise the Tm2 Loading thru the Outrigger Jacks to avoid Damage to the Turf on the Football Pitch, like the scenario above.

c) Train the CEO, the Managing Director and all Managers in Risk Assessments and Method Statements RAMS as this will identify the Safe Systems of Work SSoW required and all of the necessary Control Measures, to avoid Crane Incidents like the Crane Rollover above. Why, because Worker Safety is important, Very Important and 548 Fatal Incidents Worldwide is 548 too many.

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby

Aug 5, 2019

Skimping on outrigger mats is one thing. But to me the bigger issue is the caliber of operators given the responsibility of running these large cranes. A competent experienced operator would never go short on outriggers with full counterweights installed. And if ordered to do so, would emphatically refuse.

I know I would.

Aug 3, 2019

@Pemby - your point on the false economy of not using mats is well made but you don't have to guess the Grove pad loadings... Grove have them freely available here: http://www.manitowoccranes.com/en/Tools/lift-planning/Outrigger-Pad-Load-Calculators

Aug 2, 2019

I don't think the 130 HAS a variable duty chart for 'fully sucked in' on full 40t ballast.

This happens when the company hiring in a crane wants to skimp on the extra cost of rigger mats - there are options that can vastly reduce the ground loadings. Don't know the proper way to do this, but using the calculator on Ipaf, and assuming say, 0.5kg/cm2 loading (from selecting non-cohesive loose sand, theres no 'uncompacted soil' option) then it gives a 136000cm2 area to bring the ground loading of the crane - which I calculated by going "okay so assuming worst case, one rigger would maybe have 3/4's the weight of the rigged crane" which is 91.6t, (bearing in mind, this is on the non-lifting side so nowhere near). This is 13.6m2 required, which can be more than met by: 2m x 7m, or 2.5m x 6m or 3m x 5m mats. The last one makes sense - a bit more square. Presuming this is accomplished via 3 2m x 2.5m metal or navi mats as the base layer and a fourth navi mat (long enough to stretch across all three, so a 6m navi mat) on top, that's eight on the grass side. lets be generous and say they're relatively thin for thickness and maybe 400kg (Ive seen 2m x 2m at 500kg, and those were thick metal ones) , you could transport them relatively easy at 3~4t all in on a wagon.
But theres the hire of them... which they wouldn't provide.

Aug 1, 2019
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