Following the release of IMCA’s Safety Flashes, there is an incident where a crane made contact with a pipelay tower handrail during a routine lifting operation, resulting in a serious dropped object event.
The incident occurred during repositioning of a chain link clump weight on the main deck using a 250T crane whip line. The boom rest landing section on the boom knuckle came into contact with the top gutter walkway guardrails on the pipelay tower.
A section of the rail (approx. 1.2 m and 5.5kg) broke off and fell approximately 22m to a walkway below. Thankfully, there were no injuries.
What went wrong?
This incident is currently under investigation however the following preliminary findings were identified:
- There was a lapse in concentration due to distractions during the operation;
- The banksman was primarily focused on the load and its travel path rather than on the crane itself;
- The crane operator’s view was obstructed by the knuckle boom;
- The crew were new to the vessel:
- There was a lack of awareness of possible clash points and were not highlighted in the deck induction;
- The crew were not familiar with the vessel set-up when working in close proximity to tower;
- There was an unidentified hazard (i.e. deck structure clash points);
- There were no engineering controls to warn the crane operator of close proximity to a structure.
- Are we out of the line of fire? Discuss what key controls you have in place to remove yourself and your team members from the potential line of fire;
- Ensure drop zones are identified for any potential clash points when performing lifting operations in close proximity to other structures or equipment;
- Ensure there is a robust and effective barrier management process used to manage all drop zones;
- Ensure all potential crane collision points are identified and included in worksite inductions, toolbox talks and risk assessments;
- Where applicable, ensure additional ‘spotters’ are used to assist the banksman.