Heavy items can be lifted safely if the boom truck crane is operated properly. Each time the boom lifts a load, its angle changes as it extends, and the crane’s upper deck rotates to swing the load. With that motion, the distance from the load’s center of gravity to the crane’s tipping axis changes. These movements can make a boom truck unstable,
especially if the crane’s lift capacity is exceeded. The crane can overturn and the boom can collapse.
A boom truck crane was being used to lift steel beams to the 4th floor of a building being constructed. The operator did not know the beams exceeded the crane’s capacity. The heavy load caused the crane boom to buckle and collapse, dropping the load to the ground. Bernardo, who was working nearby, saw what was happening and was able to alert other workers to get out of the way in time. In this incident, no one was hurt, but it put the operator, Bernardo, and other nearby workers in danger.
- How could this incident have been avoided?
- Have you known or heard of anyone who was injured or killed while operating a boom truck crane because it collapsed or dropped its load? If so, what happened?
If you will be operating a boom truck:
- Check to see that it has been properly inspected and is certified for operation.
- Perform an operational inspection as required for boom truck cranes.
- Be sure support blocking is securely placed.
- Do NOT operate the crane unless you have been trained and authorized to operate the crane and give signals.
- Do NOT operate the crane unless you and the signal persons are in direct, clear view or in headset communication.
- Always check the weight of the load and rigging. Do NOT lift a load that exceeds the crane’s capacity.
- Always check the wind speed to make sure it is safe for lifting the loads.
- Always use proper blocking methods to adequately support boom sections during disassembly.
- Always warn others of moving and approaching overhead loads.
- If you are working around a boom truck, always obey warning signs, especially those that are posted in critical areas.
Perform an operational inspection as required for that piece of equipment.
Always make sure the weight of the load and rigging is within the crane capacity.
Use proper blocking methods to adequately support boom sections during disassembly.