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Failure to Inspect, Maintain Crane Injures Two

Three employees of a steel erection contractor were lifting a 200 lb. bundle of crossbraces with a crane. The bundle was lifted at an angle of about 80 degrees— the crane’s load rating chart. Employee #1 was a signalman; Employee #2 was the crane operator; and Employee #3 was an ironworker who was guiding the load at the time of the accident. As the load was lifted, after the boom lever was locked and the load was being cabled down, the load and boom suddenly fell. Employee #3 was pulled off the structural steel, but managed to hang onto the sling that he was using to guide the load. The boom bent and stopped, resting on structural steel and a concrete block wall. Because of the boom bending, Employee #3 had a "soft" landing and sustained only facial lacerations and contusions. However, the boom fall directly on top of Employee #1, though he somehow squeezed into the space between the chords and the diagonals of the crane boom. One of the diagonals struck Employee #1 on the back and drove him into the structural steel, breaking both of his feet and resulting in massive contusions over his entire body. The cause of the incident was uncertain, but investigators noted that the mechanism that is meant to hold the boom in an upright position was out of adjustment, nor had the crane been maintained per the manufacturer’s specifications.

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