Friday, July 9, 2010

October 8th, 2004

Bellentre (Savoy) France - A self erecting tower crane collapsed due to Oscillation and not having the proper "locking devices". The crane and operator hadn't been properly reviewed. On some of the self erectors, the mast must be mechanically wedged or locked into place. On a Potain HDT 80 for example, it's a threaded large diameter bolt that physically pins the mast in place in the event of mechanical failure.

When the crane fell it killed 8 year old Lea Montez. I'm sharing the photo because sometimes a face is critical as to how important our safety procedures are. In China I know of two accidents that have killed children in school. We owe them our best protection.

The crane owner was charged for not having the crane properly inspected and for not making sure that the operator was certified. The crane owners son apparently did some operation of the crane in contravention to the law as he isn't licensed as a crane operator. In the end he was sentenced to 2 years in prison with 18 months suspended. The prosecutor was unrelenting in his speech, "The sole objective of Jean-Michel Pin is to cut back on everything. Involving a company specializing in the inspection of cranes would have cost 269.For you, life was worth so Lea, 269" (link)

There is a story for all of these people that have died. All too often, we never hear about them. Is the crane ok? Don't judge it by the dollars, picture Leah. I'm sure that if you are here, you think of cranes this critically already. Keep up the vigilance. Many of us have Leah's at home to get back to.

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