Elliott’s Crane Hire and Specialised Transport is a highly specialised crane hire and heavy haulage services provider operating in Hobart and the surrounding areas. Greg Smith joined Elliott’s workshop crew from school, then progressed to operating the cranes and trucks and now, he owns the business. Read more
A Potain Igo T 85 A self-erecting crane is being used to expand the Museum of New and Old Art (Mona) in Hobart, Tasmania. Read more
The first wind turbine at the $280 million Granville Harbour Wind Farm is expected to be erected later this month as preparatory works wrap up.
New South Wales and Tasmania will see crane access laws simplified as a result of changes for Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), according to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). Read more
Cranes Combined is Tasmania’s largest crane hire business. It has also played a major role in determining a new road access system for cranes, likely to be rolled out across the country.
Wind power company Goldwind Australia has appointed a crane company to undertake a $13 to 16 million lifting, mechanical and electrical installation of 48 wind turbine generators (WTG) in Tasmania. Read more
One of the tallest cranes on Hobart’s skyline will be dismantled after conducting around 15,000 lifts. Read more
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).
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.
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.
This is a document that introduces a speed limit on pick and carry cranes, whereby under the National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice 2016 (No 1) the State Schedules for Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania now state: “A pick and carry crane must not exceed 80kph.”
Pick and carry cranes are our most common crane in Australia with numbers in the thousands. I’ve written many bulletins about them due to the high number of risk factors involved, particularly mobiling with loads. Read more
Cranes Combined has successfully relocated a historic church in Tasmania that had been at the site for more than 100 years.