Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 19th, 2011

Plymouth, Devon, UK A man in his 30"s fell from a tower crane. The fall was about 200 feet in length and resulted in death.
Vertikal reports the story as a man whom climbed over a security fence then climbed the crane without authorization. When he reached the turntable he found that he couldn't get any higher and then fell or jumped to his death.
The picture shows what appears to be a Liebherr 420 (US designation). These cranes have a hatch door from the turntable to cab transition. If you are the operator, you can place a lock that would prevent a person from getting past this area. The height of the cab and it's sheer sheet metal face would make it impossible to climb around without setting up ropes.
This is one of those things that we in the industry often endeavor to prevent, but it seems like a uphill battle. I've seen cranes with 10 feet of plywood walls built with razor wire at the top. The crazies still get by. People stealing copper show up to take the large power cords that feed 480v with a 200 amp service up to the crane. Operators will show up and find the cord gone. We've seen it where they've just taken bolt cutters and cut right through the live wires. I've heard a story about it happening at a crane service yard where they found drag marks  as if the person who did it was injured and couldn't walk out. Sorry, I find that hilarious. Sometimes justice moves at the speed of light.
You should do what you can to prevent people from getting themselves hurt, but if they are jumping fences, clearing plywood walls while getting through razor wire, they are determined and short of putting a couple of trained pit bulls on the second mast landing, we can't save these people from injuring themselves. Even at that, they would certainly sue here in the US for the bites that they would receive, and sadly they'd often win.

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