This year American Cranes & Transport’s (ACT) annual roundtable on safety and training included thought from Debbie Dickinson, Executive Director, Crane Institute Certification (CIC). ACT posed the questions and Dickinson and two other ‘industry gurus’ provided answers.
ACT: What are the most common types of crane accidents in North America today? How could they be prevented?
Dickinson: Accidents occur for a multitude of reasons, but many experts agree that among the more common causes are improper or damaged rigging and incorrect crane set up. Crane safety is greatly enhanced when operators are skilled and knowledgeable in the areas of safe operations, proper set up, correct site evaluation, crane inspection, knowing when components and controls are not in good working order and when operators know how to accurately determine capacity.
By working through a reciprocal crane operator certification program with the British Columbia Crane Safety Association (BCACS), CIC also saw the importance that our neighbors to the North put on an operator’s knowledge of rigging. In BC, operators are required to prove knowledge in each of the areas mentioned an in rigging to an advanced level. Safe crane operation cannot be pinned down to on area or one person’s responsibility. It takes a crew to make a lift and a skilled, knowledgeable crew to make lifts safe.
Multiple studies by government private groups have shown that crane operator certification saves livers through reduced accidents.
Cal-OSHA Study (Report on Fatal Crane Related Accidents, June 1, 2002 to May 31, 2008, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health) Showed an 80 percent decrease in fatalities despite an increase in the number of cranes active in the state during the time the study was conducted.
Center to Protect Workers’ Rights examined data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2008 to evaluate crane-related fatality...