26.11.2020

Singapore tower crane failure - Learning Report

Singapore's Ministry Of Manpower (MOM) has published a 'Learning Report' after a tower crane jib came down in November.

The jib of a luffing tower crane came down across a jobsite in Singapore last November while it was lifting a bundle of scaffolding killing a man working below, while another was injured.

Developed in consultation with the industry the 'Learning Report' has been issued on the cause of the incident in order to alert the construction and crane rental companies to the lessons that can be learnt from the incident and help prevent recurrences.

The jib buckled and collapsed

It was found that the tower crane's erection ropes had become entangled with part of the fixed gantry structure on the crane during lifting operations, with the resulting entanglement preventing the jib from being lowered, and then releasing suddenly, causing the jib to buckle and collapse. The report recommends that any erection ropes be removed or disconnected after the jib is installed, instead of leaving them on the crane, in order to eliminate any risk of accidental entanglement with any fixed structure of the tower crane.
The report has plenty of clear good quality drawings highlighting the risks and the causes

The statement from the ministry added: “While investigations are still ongoing, we urge the industry to consider the learning points, and adopt safe practices in the installation, dismantling, maintenance, and safe operation of tower cranes.”

Click here to go direct to the report which is free to download or read online.

Vertikal Comment

The report is comprehensive and well illustrated and therefore hopefully useful in helping prevent similar incidents. It looks as though jib failure was similar to an incident in Liverpool in 2007, albeit with a completely different rope causing the jib to hang up and then suddenly release – in that case the luffing rope jammed in the hoist follower, the operator continued to play out the luffing cable and when it did release the resulting shock load caused the jib to buckle and fall.

The way this has been handled is also exemplary, in that just a year on the incident has been investigated, findings published and a thorough and comprehensive report with recommendations issued! The UK's HSE could learn a good deal from the way this has been handled.

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