Engineers will today start testing parts of a crane that collapsed in Sydney last week, as WorkCover tries to find out what went wrong.
The collapse happened at a building site at the University of Technology (UTS) in the inner-city.
Authorities could not believe that no one was hurt or killed when a crane at the Lend Lease construction site caught fire, 45 metres above the ground.
The driver managed to steer it away from Broadway so that it did not hit the busy street when it came crashing down.
Instead it fell on a building site.
Over the weekend, Lend Lease undertook the massive task of removing most of the crane from the site.
John Watson, a general manager at WorkCover says the parts will be sent to Londonderry in Sydney’s west for testing.
“We’ve seized part of the crane – the main engine and hydraulic systems of the crane,” he said.
“They’ve been transferred to Test Safe Australia.”
Mr Watson says it is only the third collapse involving this kind of crane in the world.
More info on Cranes,Hoists, and Slings
Recently the Australian crane safety watchdog, CraneSafe celebrated its 10th year in existence. The program emerged in Victoria where there was initially an inspection program by WorkSafe. Eventually that was discontinued and CraneSafe emerged to fill the gap and to deal with the upsurge of used cranes coming into Australia.
One cannot overstate the importance of ensuring that safety regulations are met when operating a crane or hoist. Regulatory bodies will inspect whether or not cranes any changes or modifications have been made to the cranes. Constant maintenance and inspection programs should consistently be used. The cranes should be is moderately good condition for use, and ladders and other access points must be safe for consistent maintenance. Furthermore, a sufficient amount of records should be kept pertaining to maintenance, inspection and testing that the machine has undergone. Crane operators are required under the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations bill to ensure that good records are kept. This can ensure that Working At Heights safety standards are being met and that duties are complied with. It is the responsibility of the person in charge of the work site to ensure that these measures are undertaken.
Moving exceptionally heavy, large loads is essential to manufacturing and construction industries. Now there are significant safety standards that one must ensure in order to avoid any hazards.
It is important to note that there are a variety of types of cranes and all of them have specific safety measures one must undertake. Two of these types include (but not limited to) mobile cranes and Tower cranes.
Mobile cranes are mounted onto rubber tires which enable them to be transported throughout various job sites. Some designs have tracks which are similar to those found on tanks. These tracks enable the crane to be mobile. In fact mobile cranes can even move while holding a load, as opposed to other cranes which must remain stationary. Mobile cranes can be transported via helicopters, truck beds or even boats for use at sea.
Often used for the construction of high-rise buildings. This crane is strictly stationary since it has a bolted on base connected to concrete pads.
A serious risk of operating a crane is when the crane overturns. Overturned cranes can be fatal or at the very least, cause serious injury to the operator. There are several causes for the overturning of a crane. This can occur when a crane is overloaded, if it is not on a stable surface, and if the load is not properly rigged. Extreme Wind can also be a catalyst for an overturned crane
Another serious risk is electrocution. The frequency in which an operator works in close proximity to power lines can prove fatal. Insulated barriers are an important step to avoid electrocution. Operators must always ensure that there crane is in a safe distance from electricity sources or high voltage lines.
Amidst concerns regarding safety practices, things were expected to take a turn at the Cotter Damn enlargement project. A worker who has exposed issues at the worksite allegedly faces potential disciplinary action from his employer.
WorkSafe ensured that the use of a tower crane has been discontinued. The reason for the crane being labeled as ‘unsafe’ has yet to be revealed, however it’s manufacturer has produced a written confirmation of its present condition which means that it may soon be determined that it is safe to use.
The project, which reportedly costs over $360 million has been plagued by a trend of occupational health and safety issues.
Three months ago, work was delayed when anxieties arose pertaining to temporary structures that were organised alongside a wall of the dam.
Other safety issues cited by WorkSafe include unsafe use of electrical power, electrical coolant, scaffolding, formwork and the failure to use proper safety harnesses.
Construction Forestry Mining and Energy representatives have expressed outrage over a veteran crane operator potentially facing punishment for blowing the whistle on the site. The operator has since received two official warnings but he may face additional penalties. Despite the disciplinary action the worker has been forced to endure, a spokeperson for the company stated that all employees are encouraged to report safety concerns.
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