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Crawler crane drive chains

Recently a serious accident occurred at a contractor’s facility when the drive chain of a crawler crane failed, causing parts to fly about injuring an employee. The American Skyhorse Crane was lifting a cement silo for loading on a transportation vessel. During the process it was necessary to move the crane a short distance and turn clockwise. When turning, a left drive chain connecting link failed, flew out and hit an employee’s leg, fracturing both bones in the ankle.

It was found that the drive chain had failures and parts replaced before this accident and that the failed connecting link had been previously overhauled. The preventative maintenance program was found to be thorough and complete.

The contractor involved had elected to increase inspection frequency of drive chains and connecting links if the crane is used in turning and tracking with loads. They also now replace a chain if it breaks more than once. People working in the vicinity of cranes are instructed to stay clear of the side of such cranes when the tracks are moving.

Safety Event

Published: 1 January 1998
Download: IMCA SF 01/98

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