Staff Writer

Kolberg Caspary cuts loading time with gyro-based stabilisation crane device

Norwegian company Kolberg Caspary Lautom AS has launched a gyro-based stabilisation device called YawSTOP, which enables rotation-free and rotation-controlled lifting and loading of shipping cargo by cranes in a bid to make handling these goods in a more efficient, reliable and safe way.

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Buchanans – a small family business looking to the next generation

Greg Buchanan, founder of Buchanan Mobile Cranes, has a boilermaking background and the cranes were initially something that evolved out of the need to install or erect the steelwork that he fabricated. While the crane work is now a significant business in its own right, steel fabrication and engineering complement the crane business and there are many niche projects that require both areas of expertise.

Greg’s son James developed an early interest in cranes, from around the age of eight as he recalls. With the business and family home co-located on acreage at Moorooduc, it was easy for James to help out after school and on weekends. It was a great learning environment: nothing was forced but neither was anything sugar-coated. As James says: “Every day was a school day.” Read more

Wagstaff Crane and RedList lifts heavy industry with cutting edge tech

Founded in the heart of Utah’s Silicon Slopes, RedList stands as a tribute to the fusion of heavy equipment and software that intersects today’s construction and manufacturing companies.

“A lot of people ask us why we aren’t chasing sexier industries, but really, what’s more exciting than building the tech that builds the world,” said John Keller, president of RedList.

“We joke around that it may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a lot of people and machines to raise a village.  Read more

A trend towards heavy lifters

The MRT234 flat top tower crane was the first to be officially unveiled in October 2017, and the feedback from end users, according to Strictly Cranes, has been overwhelmingly positive. The second new model, which is the company’s flagship crane in the new luffing range, is the LR330 with a triangular jib.

“One really strong aspect is that only two people are needed to completely assemble the MRT234’s jib over a period of a few short hours. This crane boasts nine different jib lengths, ranging from 70m to 28m,” said Eng. Domenico Ciano, technical director at Raimondi Cranes. Read more

Konecranes publishes new video outlining crane safety

The investigation analysed 249 industrial overhead crane incidents that occurred over the past 10 years.

According to the study, a total of 838 Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration (OSHA) violations were committed across the 249 incidents, which caused 133 injuries and 133 fatalities.

The study found that the most common reason for overhead crane incidents were failing loads, which can happen if the load is unstable or poorly rigged.  Read more

Consultation commences on LEEA apprenticeships

Following initial discussions with the IFA and having identified a gap in the apprenticeship scheme for the occupation of Lifting Equipment Examiner, LEEA will now be inviting its members to come together to form the necessary ‘trailblazer’ group, which will meet to work out what the sector actually needs from its future workforce.

Interested members must be committed to take on apprentices in their own businesses and willing to contribute to the drafting of an occupation proposal, which will in the future form an apprenticeship standard.  Read more

Boom Logistics delivers strong financial results

Revenue has increased in 2018 by 22% to $183.1 million, compared to $150.1 million in the previous period. Gross margins increased to 28.7%, compared to the previous 27.1%.

According to Boom, part of the increase is attributed to strong growth in the mining and energy sectors, with higher revenues from mining maintenance contracts in line with increased customer activity, and the completion of three Australian wind farm construction projects during the year requiring ongoing maintenance by way of specialised assets and expertise.  Read more

Siemens and PaR Systems help enhance crane operation safety

According to the Crane Inspection and Certification Bureau (CICB), approximately 80 crane-related deaths occur every year. Of all crane-related incidents 90% are due to human error, 50% results in a fatality, and 40% involve someone being struck by the crane or an object that the crane is lifting or moving.

A solution for modernising cranes is developed by PaR Systems and called EXPERTOPERATOR, which was designed to help operators by reducing load sway by 95%. PaR is a global manufacturer of advanced automation, robotic and specialty material handling solution. Read more

CICA on tower crane safety

In summary we have more cranes than ever before, situated in our most densely populated areas. Never has there been a more important time to focus on what we can do as an industry to maintain a high level of safety.

Last week, there was an incident in Melbourne where a luffing tower crane was damaged during high wind, leaving the boom in an unstable and unsecured position posing a risk to a large number of residences and businesses below (see photo).

CICA on tower crane safety

There were evacuations and business shutdowns for over 24 hours, but fortunately no injuries or loss of life. It’s important that while WorkSafe conduct their investigation, we as an industry focus on the facts and lessons learned so we can improve on our safety standards and reduce the risk of this or similar incidents happening again. Hence this bulletin is not here to focus on liability and fault, but rather prevention. This graphic explains the effect of high windspeed and the mechanisms that exist in cranes to deal with high windspeed.

CICA on tower crane safety

For the boom to be blown backwards, the crane needed to be in a position with either the boom too high and/or the machinery deck unable to slew (weathervane).

Worksafe will investigate whether:

1. The crane was improperly parked for out-of-service.

2. The crane was properly parked but malfunctioned.

3. The crane was properly parked but there is an inherent design flaw with the particular model of crane.

As an industry collective, we must be two steps ahead of all three scenarios above.

This starts firstly with conducting an assessment on the crane installation and the crane itself, to ensure its condition and working order. CraneSafe is one programme widely used and NATA-endorsed.

Secondly, operators and riggers need to be adequately licenced, trained and verified to operate the specific machine. This is an ongoing challenge with the current high demand for labour.

Thirdly, faults or issues detected on crane need to be documented and rectified immediately to ensure all aspects of the crane’s function are working 100%.

The owner’s manual is gospel when operating any crane. It needs to be accessible to the operator at all times and should include instructions such as positioning of cranes while out-of-service. If such instructions are not readily available, they should be obtained, or further engineering advice sought.

Correct permits and approvals are required for setting up cranes that slew over private property adjacent to worksites. Sometimes to leave the boom in the correct position stipulated by the manufacturer may conflict with the approved operating area. If this occurs, then manufacturer guidelines should not be deviated from; and further clarification with asset owner/principal contractor should be sought. Point 3 is rare but not impossible.

Generally, manufacturers conduct rigorous validation programmes that factor in all operating conditions. So, if a crane does not perform or respond in the intended way, the operator needs to highlight this and escalate the issue immediately.

With no fatalities or injuries from the incident last week, as an industry, we were fortunate. So, let’s all learn from the incident and pull together and do what we can to ensure we have a safe crane industry today, and in years to come.

This article was originally published in CICA – Vic/Tas Branch’s Crane Safety Bulletin #237.