Monday, June 14, 2010

May 28, 2010

Vigili Del Fuoco Italy in Central Itally a small tower crane collapsed. It appears to be a tip as even the base is on it's side. The article indicates that it appears that the counterweights were removed and by judging the jib, the crane was still erected when this was done. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Even the little tower cranes need to be respected. The same thing happened last year in Hawaii. A contractor new to tower cranes was making decisions about how the crane needed to be handled rather than contacting the people that handle them all of the time and are trained on them. At the very least, read and understand the manual before you dismantle the crane.

February 27th, 2010

Canary Islands. Through much of Europe fierce wind storms ripped through the country side. A gust of wind recorded at 118 mph ripped through causing a tower crane to collapse. The reality is that when winds get this strong with gusting, all bets are off and you shouldn't be near any cranes. Link to news story on the storm.

I found this on My method of finding accidents is no longer working so I'm catching up and it's back to manual searches. If you see tower crane accidents in the news, don't be afraid to share them so that we can have records and maybe something new to learn.

January 14, 2010

Carrel, Spain The winds at 3:30 am picked up and managed to blow down a crane that was on a cross base. No injuries were reported but the crane is a total loss. Link to News Story Source of pics

Tower Crane Support is ran by Terry McGettigan out of San Diego. Terry and I met years ago when I was still an erector as an Iron Worker. Apparently my notification process has failed me and it's back to manually finding the stories. Terry has many good photos and videos on his pages. Mine seeks to speculate a bit as to what we can learn from it and if Terry can find exactly what the cause is, he'll show you. If you enjoy my blog, you should hit his too.

June 11, 2010

Perth, Australia. A Potain HDT 80 has lost it's boom during a luffing operation. The boom collapsed landing on the roof of the building being constructed. The HDT 80's have the option of having the jib work at what is called 0 degrees (about 5 degrees) or you can elevate the jib to about 30 degrees which provides a greater hook height. In this case it's described as the jib was being elevated to 30 degrees or luffed up. Fortunately, the proper precaution of not having anyone working below the jib of the crane was heeded here and no one was injured due to the accident.

What I find to be important on the HDT 80's is reviewing the luffing rope every time the crane is erected and dismantled. The rope is difficult to review once the crane is erected as it would take another crane or lift to provide access. If the rope is reviewed as the mast sections are pushed out and, then you can know the condition of the rope. I usually stand over the hoist with a towel in hand allowing the rope to run through the towel (be sure that the towel is not around your hand in the event that you need to release it). This is the only time that the whole rope can be inspected. It is under stress and subjected to the weather constantly, as well as not lubricated because of it's location. Of course it only occasionally moves through sheaves, but let's be clear, the rope can become stiff an brittle from not moving as well.

The other issue on HDT 80's is that they have a locking device on the drum to remove the stress from the drum and brake. Make sure that this device and it's locking nuts are snug at all times. It sounds like this is not the cause of this particular accident, but it's something to keep an eye on.

It's quite possible that this was a luffing winch failure, but ti wouldn't be my first concern, especially with the jib fully erected all ready.

I found this accident listed on They also have a good magazine called Cranes and Access that I've enjoyed.