Swinging Cranes | Transcript

In the U.S., more than 800 construction workers die every year while on the job. Being struck by vehicles, heavy equipment, and other objects is the top cause of injuries and the second cause of death for construction workers, killing more than 150 workers in 2009. One of the most deadly construction hazards is being struck by cranes and crane parts. But these injuries and deaths can be prevented.

The video you are about to see shows how quickly struck-by accidents at construction sites can lead to worker deaths. The video will also show what employers must do so that the work can be done more safely. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace and required protective equipment. You'll see that taking the right protective steps saves lives.

Please be advised. The scenes you are about to see deal with deaths at construction sites and might be disturbing for some people. All scenes are based on true stories.

A driver was delivering a load 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 to watch the operation. The company operating the crane had secured the area using vehicles and two strategically placed workers to keep out unauthorized personnel. However, no barricades were in place to stop workers from coming within the crane's swing radius. The driver was allowed to stay in the secured area because he was a friend and knew the operator.

Before the unloading began, the driver moved closer to the crane, now within range of the crane's swing radius and out of the line of sight of the crane operator. Suddenly, the crane operator began moving the crane, positioning it for the offloading operation. Within seconds, the truck driver was crushed between the crane's counterweight and the right rear outrigger. He died later that day from serious injuries to his chest and internal organs.

Let's look at the events leading up to this tragic incident, and see how it could have been prevented. This worksite did not have the necessary controls in place to protect workers. The radius of the crane's superstructure was not barricaded and the flatbed driver was allowed to remain in what was supposed to be a secured area.

Let's look again at the work area. Now a temporary barricade including three-inch caution tape is in place to prevent workers from coming too close to the swing radius of the crane. In addition to the barriers, employers should make sure crane and/or superstructure movement occurs only when an "all clear" signal is given to the operator. Now, as the crane begins to move, no worker is within the swing radius and no contact occurs.

This example shows the importance of employers following OSHA standards to ensure that workers are provided with a safe workplace. These types of construction deaths are preventable. The protection measures shown here save workers' lives.

Use these protections on the job: it could be the difference between life and death.

If you would like more information, contact OSHA at www.osha.gov or 1-800-321-OSHA that's 1-800-321-6742.