Sunday, October 10, 2010

September 13th, 2008

Turin Italy, An apparent tower crane operator found himself hanging from his load line by his knee. The fire department managed to rescue him by repelling down to him then continuing down to the ground with the operator. This might be the closest to a Darwin Award recipient I've seen on a crane.

The article doesn't seem to indicate how he got there. One thing is certain, he was on the jib without being tied off or secured if you will. I suppose if he thought that he saw a problem with the load line and leaned down to see what it was and lost his balance, the accident becomes plausible. Paint oxidation on lacings can make the cranes slick to walk on. The day does look like there maybe moisture in the air. If condensation has built up on a tube lacing and he's crossing in the middle, it's another way that you can slip. I have to say, after 8 years of walking crane jibs, I'm as uncomfortable on a wet oxidized lacing as I am on a icy or snow covered one. To make matters worse, it looks like he's wearing rubber boots. If you don't have the proper foot wear, being a flat bottomed, firmly supported, yet soft rubber soled boot, leather upper boot, what are you doing there?

The weight of the block is likely to be the thing that saved this man's life. As his load would have been added, the block would have been raising at a relatively slow rate decelerating him. The block weighs more than he does so as it came up due to his added weight, it prevented a sudden shock from the fall and must have been the difference between him being able to hold on during the deceleration and not being able to hold on. He's very lucky and this is a clear reminder to tie off at all times. Enjoy the video

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