Killed – two workers in California when their personnel basket fell nearly 80 feet.
OSHA has strict requirements regarding hoisting personnel. If these requirements are followed, such accidents should cease to happen. The actual cause of this particular accident is still unknown to the public as the OSHA report will take time to surface. Early speculation is that the hook failed or the basket came off the hook.
Hooks used in personnel hoisting operations “must be capable of supporting, without failure, at least five times the maximum intended load applied” according to OSHA 29 CFR 1926.1431(g)(3). In simple terms the hook will withstand a 500% overload before it will fail at which point it will bend, not break. On a crane as large as the one used in the operation, the weight of the heaviest personnel basket and its contents should not come close to the yield point of the hook.
This begs the other question, how could the master link for the bridle supporting the basket come off the hook?
OSHA requires hooks used for hoisting personnel “must be of a type that can be closed and locked” (1926.1431(g)(1)(i)(A)). Closing the hook’s throat would prevent the basket from coming off the hook. Now let’s assume the hook was not equipped with a latch or the latch was defective.
- The weight of the basket should keep the master link in place in the bowl of the hook.
- For the basket to come off, an upward force would have to be placed on the master link. This could cause the master link to slip over the hook tip.
- An upward force could be generated by hitting an object with the personnel basket.
Purchase Mobile Cranes and Rigging handbook set by Jim Headely and read...
Crane Institute Announces Plans for New Programs
August 4, 2014 (Sanford, Fla.) — More than 15 Training Specialists for Crane Institute of America recently met at Crane Institute’s headquarters for Annual In-Service Training in order to provide the best possible customer experience. All Training Specialists are certified and qualified through Crane Institute of America. The training session includes refreshers on the latest equipment and changes to regulations.
The training meeting included a conference call with Crane Institute Certification’s (CIC) Executive Director, Debbie Dickinson, to learn more about OSHA’s proposed delay of crane operator certification requirements. CIC submitted viable solutions to OSHA with the intent to satisfy the agency’s concerns over employer responsibility to qualify workers. Subsequently, an industry coalition, including CIC, was formed to represent the interests of the crane industry.
In other news, Dickinson reported three states have or will adopt language requiring certification or licensing by crane type and size. These include California, Washington, and New York. Finally, she announced the launch of two new CIC certifications; Service Mechanics Truck and Lift Director.
New Programs and Resources
Crane Institute of America announced to its Training Specialists new programs currently in development. Two new training courses for people involved in crane management are set to be released in Fall 2014. The new Lift Director and Lift Planner courses are designed to prepare students for the CIC Lift Director Certification Exams. In addition, look for a course for Assembly/Disassembly Director in 2015.
Also new is a metric version of the handbook, Rigging, available for purchase on Crane Institute’s online store this September.
Crane Institute now has a public LinkedIn group, called Crane and Rigging, for those in the industry with related questions. Crane Institute Training Specialists offer a credible source...
While vacationing, a Crane Institute Instructor visited wine country, Napa Valley, California and took a gondola, much like a ski lift, ride through the vineyard.
On cranes, hoist wire rope is one piece that can not be spliced, think of a straight line. For gondola or ski lifts, think of a circle. The two ends need to be spliced together to make a continuous piece. This type of splice is as strong as the wire rope itself.
A recent example of such splicing is when Steamboat Springs in Colorado, replaced their ski lift wire rope after 21 years and 54,000 hours of service. The wire rope of these lifts have a longer life than those installed on cranes for two main reasons. The sheaves, or bull wheels, that the rope runs on have a large D:d ratio. There is no shock loading or contact between the wire rope and other objects.
The Steamboat Springs rope was replaced with 3.4 miles of 6 x 39 plastic core wire rope, weighing 60 tons. To achieve the desired strength, the splice was 250 foot long and 10 foot of each end was hand tucked. ANSI B77-1 Passenger Ropeways Standard states that the splice length must be at least 1,200 times the diameter of the rope.