U.S. Department of Labor
Table of Contents
Hazard: Traumatic/Acute Injury
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.
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.
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.
Do NOT turn off safety or warning devices.
Do NOT work under the boom, hook or load.