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Near-miss during heavy lift operations

A member has reported a near-miss incident that occurred during a dual crane lift of a stinger being offloaded from a barge.

Two cranes were required to unload a stinger from a barge. Since the lift was a multiple crane lift and more than 100 T, a critical lift method statement (CLMS) was required prior to the lifting operation. The HS&E supervisor was asked to inspect and arrange for sign-off of the CLMS checklist and verification sheet. The HS&E supervisor then requested a control and compliance verification as indicated in the CLMS. After inspecting the area and verifying that everything appeared to be okay, the rigging superintendent/crane operator signed-off on the CLMS and the lift commenced.

While the lift was in progress, the yard fabrication superintendent arrived and asked to review the CLMS. A check with the rigging superintendent revealed that the actual weights being lifted exceeded the weights listed on the CLMS and that, as a result, the cranes were procedurally inappropriate for the lift, having inappropriate counterweights. Subsequent to this, it was discovered that no critical lift meeting had taken place prior to the lift, as required by procedures, and that the weight of the stinger was incorrectly estimated as 140 T rather than 160 T.

The rigging superintendent then instructed the rigging supervisor and crane operator to manoeuvre each end of the boom load closer to acquire and maintain the proper boom angle for a safe lift. The lift continued until completed using this method.

The company involved has noted a number of key factors leading to this potential incident, including:

  • lack of judgment and improper examples set on the part of supervisor level staff;
  • inadequate review of work instructions, procedures and standards before the job;
  • improper loading of cranes.

The company has reiterated that the failure to follow clearly established procedures during complex heavy lifts has the potential for serious incidents to occur.

Safety Event

Published: 31 October 2005
Download: IMCA SF 10/05

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