Crane Institute of America

Mistakes, Accidents, or Incidents?

Recently Heavy Lift News published the editorial Those Who Fail to Learn the Lessons of History Are Doomed to Repeat the Mistakes of the Past.

We are not sure you can call them mistakes, and we sure can’t call them accidents. Cranes don’t turn themselves over or poke their booms into power lines… operators do, time and time again all over the world.

Under job pressure, crane operators are free to make choices–good ones and bad. Cranes are de-rated for safety at a rate beyond any other tool or equipment, and well-intentioned trainers may give operators information about the de-rating that can be misused. Operators get used to exceeding the limits and getting away with it, until one day a combination of things comes together and the incident occurs.

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The crane in this picture is working in the most stable area of operation for its type; it does not look like there is a problem with soft ground. The root cause appears to be overloading– which with a crane computer or LMI would be difficult, unless they were disabled.