Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor

Process: Rigging


Hazard: Traumatic/Acute Injury

Case History

Two workers were assigned new jobs. One of them was briefly shown how to operate a crane and the other was assigned to help by rigging the loads. The worker assigned to operate the crane only spent a short time practicing. During that time, multiple alarms and warning signals went off in the crane's cab.

six graphics - Two workers operating a crane and rigging the load

The new operator did not fully understand the meaning of the alarms and signals and just figured out how to turn them off. The second worker stood directly under the crane's lifting gear. As the crane extended, the "headache ball" was pulled tightly against the crane by its cable. Since the anti-two block had been disconnected, there was no warning before the "headache ball" broke free and dropped directly onto the worker below.

headache ball breaking free and dropping on worker below

Source: OSHA Video: Examining Fatal Shipyard Accidents

Analysis and Preventive Measures

The crane operator and riggers were not appropriately trained. They should have been trained on the need to leave safety and warning devices on and functioning.

Training for the worker on the ground should have stressed the need for riggers to never place themselves under the crane's boom, hook, or load.

Crane operators must be properly trained

Do NOT turn off safety or warning devices.

Do NOT work under the boom, hook or load.


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