Friday, June 6, 2008

April 18th 2006

Miami A external climber was dropped as it was being lowered by the crane itself. A father and son team were working together lowering the climber with the hoist of the tower crane. It was not uncommon to ride the climber down to ensure that it stays clear and moving. The father was free riding and the son was tied off to the climber. Either the climber hung up causing the rigging to come slack then shock load, or the rigging was spaced too far apart for as narrow as the rigging distance is. That would cause the rigging to slide together and potentially cut leading to failure.
The climbing section fell hitting collar below that was holding the crane to the building. The collar failed to support it's new load and the climber continured to fall to the next collar which stopped the fall. Sadly the father of the team not being tied off fell to his death.
Dismantling a collar can naturally be an impressive shock to the crane. I can only imagine how a instant removal would react and then to have the crane above it's max free standing height... Miami is fortunate that this crane did not fall from 400 feet plus.
As is the normal course of action, attorney's have valuable information about this buried and we'll only get to guess about how to learn from it. I stopped riding climbers down after this accident. In hindsight, it's illegal anyways.
Video link
http://www.local10.com/news/8790625/detail.html

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