A crane operator stepped on a loose piece of grating on the crane walkway. The grating fell 18m to deck below, damaging some stairs. The crane operator fell 4.5m through the open grating, and suffered a fractured left leg.
The incident occurred after the crane block hit the walkway during lifting operations, when the crane was completely boomed up to reach the load. The crane block began to swing in an uncontrolled manner causing the block to hit the lower walkway (grating) around the crane pedestal. The crane operator aborted the operation, called the deck foreman, and parked the crane in the boom rest. He stepped out from the cabin and started inspecting the walkway around the pedestal, looking for damage to the handrails after the crane block had struck. It was during this inspection that he stepped onto the loose piece of grating and fell through.
What went wrong? What were the causes?
- The grating was loose and fell:
- the securing clips came loose as a result of the impact of the swinging crane block, and the loose grating was then dislodged
- this piece of grating was fixed to the walkway structural frame in only two places
- there was a kick plate welded onto the grating and not on the structure as on other cranes
- the piece of grating had not been identified as potential dropped object;
- The crane was boomed up above the limit, and the crane operator did not deal properly with this;
- Changes had occurred which were not properly managed or controlled;
- The crane operator inspected the walkway looking at the guardrails, not the grating.
What lessons were learnt? What recommendations were made?
- Safety stand down held with all crew; grating replaced and secured;
- Engineering improvement of walkway design to be made, to prevent recurrence;
- Improvement of training for crane operators and lifting teams, particularly with regard to:
- emergency procedures
- handling unusual scenarios
management of change (MOC)/risk assessments/toolbox or pre-Job meetings.
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