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Three Workers Killed in Crane Incidents

Case 1: A crew of ironworkers and a crane operator were unloading a 20-ton steel slab from a low-boy trailer using a 50-ton crawler crane with a 90-foot lattice boom. The operator was inexperienced on this crane and did not know the length of the boom. Further, no one had determined the load radius. During lifting, the load moved forward and to the right, placing a twisting force on the boom. The boom twisted under the load, swinging down, under and to the right. Two crew members standing 30 feet away apparently saw the boom begin to swing, and ran. The boom struck one of the employees— ironworker— the head, causing instant death. Wire rope struck the other— management trainee— internal injuries. He died two hours later at a local hospital.

Case 2: A driver made a delivery of steel beams to a job site. After positioning his flatbed truck as directed, he stood near the hydraulic crane that was offloading the truck and watched the operation. The steel erection company controlling the crane had secured the area, instead of barricading the crane’s swing radius, using walls, vehicles, and two strategically placed employees to keep out unauthorized personnel. The driver was allowed to remain in the secured area because he was a friend and knew the operation. While everyone’s attention was diverted, the driver apparently walked up to the crane and was crushed between the crane’s counterweight and the right rear outrigger. He sustained serious injuries to his chest and internal organs, including his liver, and died later that day.


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