Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 7th, 2010

Penang Malaysia. A tower crane operator had to be rescued due to running across a hornet. Apparently a single hornet incapacitated the man from being able to climb down. The story doesn't note if he's allergic and went into Anaphylaxis Shock. News being news, either he's allergic and had a severe reaction, or he actually found a full on hornets nest which can take down even an adult and this wouldn't be a first on a tower crane.

The rescue of the man did not go well. The incident was originally reported at 2:30 PM. When the Fire Department arrived the initial thought was to use a "Super Gyro Skylift". I believe this is a aerial work platform mounted on a truck from. However this wasn't quite tall enough. So a crane was brought in and a dumping bin was used to remove the worker. The rescue was finished at 4:30 PM, 2 hours later.

Serious incidents do happen on tower cranes. Operators have medical emergencies. Here in Seattle we had a brand new technician get sloppy with a wrench and drop it in a live electrical panel which then blew up in his face and all over his hands. He was able to climb down. In LA, the story as I know it, was that a crane erector was dereeving a Liebherr 630 and rolling up the trolley line when it went over the side. As it ran his leg was in the bite and running and eventual snap of the trolley line severed his leg. You don't have 2 hours to get that man down. Heart Attacks, Strokes, trauma, etc are all cases where 2 hours is not an acceptable time frame. Especially in a city of 1.7 million people. The Fire Department should be prepared for this and be able to rope that man down.

It just illustrates the need for planning ahead. I really do believe that you should have rescue kits on the crane, training in how to use them available for enough workers on the site. It's really not that difficult. There are times when it will make the difference between life and death.

Link to story

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