Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 27th, 2012

College Green, NSW A man named Fen Joyce fell from a 45 tower crane jib at 12:30 AM after having been at a party. His friends are mourning the loss and note that he was a fun person to be around. You can read more in a newspaper article in the Manly Daily

It's not that uncommon for people to climb cranes at night. I've seen pictures show up on photo sites that are of people sneaking around. People have been passed out in cabs only to be found by the operator in the morning. Talk about a hang over. I've had the hook of my crane tangled in trees after fraternity pledge week near the University of Washington. I've even heard stories of people climbing cranes to steal power cables for their value in copper wire. One of those stories also involves two heel marks being drug out to a car due to apparent electrocution. One of my favorite stories involves a local operator whom decided to retire to his cab after going out with the iron workers on site to enjoy some brews. He awoke with lasers on his chest from police shooters and the cell phone ringing with the job superintendent on the other end asking him for any information about how to get into the cab.

We should take measures to keep people from hurting themselves. I'm back to running a crane after our long economic slow down. I'm working in a University District so I have the base walled off with razor wire at the top of the wall. Additionally there is a set of hatch doors on the tower that would force someone to crawl outside of the tower to continue up (top of second tower section). If they get to the top, the door to the cab is locked, but they could certainly access the jib. Short of positioning a MMA trained security guard on the tower, I'm not sure what else we could do to deter this behavior. In the crane being used on this job, a solution may have been simply locking the lower hatch door on the cab which would prevent a person from getting further than the turntable.

People are sometimes just determined to do what they want to do. We can't protect everyone from themselves, but we could do our level best with some efforts as simple as a pad lock.