Blog Post #618 – Tower Crane Near Miss

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

There were no injuries but plenty of orders issued to a constructor following a crane-related near miss in Kingston, Ontario on February 22, 2012.

MOL investigators were called in after a tower crane came apart in its boom broke, says Ministry spokesperson Matt Blajer. Part of the hydraulic cylinder and bracket from the crane’s second boom section was removed for examination.

On the day of the incident, the ministry issued eight compliance orders to 1652453 Ontario Limited, operating as Jay. Fern Inc., including stop work on the project until a professional engineer provides a safe work procedure for dismantling and removing the crane and the unit is re-inspected by an MOL inspector.

Among the other orders, ministry information notes the constructor has been directed to provide copies of various documents, including the notice of project, a list of all workers who are employed by the constructor, the constructor’s health and safety policy and program, the crane operator’s authorization documents for operating mobile/tower cranes, the crane’s inspection, maintenance and repair documentation (as well as the maintenance and repair documents from the previous crane owner), and a design drawing for the concrete foundation of the crane; and to provide an inspector with a written report, signed and sealed by a professional engineer, related to non-destructive testing on the crane’s critical parts and extended portions.

Two days after the incident, J. Fern was issued a ninth order to ensure that no person or workers enter or be permitted to have access or perform work at the project until MOL inspectors have withdrawn the directive.

The near miss occurred a day before another crane incident in Whitby, Ontario, this time one that prove deadly.

On February 23, 2012, “a portion of the lattice boom fell on the worker during disassembly of a mobile conventional crane,” Blajer reports.

Galcon Marine Limited was ordered not to disturb the scene and to provide various documents to the MOL. The project constructor, Clipper Construction Ltd., must also provide documentation.

My opinion

As an instructor of overhead cranes, my research shows that there are still way too many accidents dealing with tower, mobile and yes, overhead cranes. It becomes a planned event and the operator, along with the riggers need to be in sync. to be able to get the job done safely and all associated hazards are discussed and controlled prior to the job being done.

One site was lucky, one was not. I wonder how much training was given to ensure competency to the crane operator? Was there also competency training for those doing the slinging and rigging?

The tower crane operator MUST be a hoisting engineer. PERIOD! The construction regulation, 213/91 state that this also applies to mobile cranes over 8 ton capacity.

Ensure your workforce is in compliance with the OHSA and/or the sector regulations or your company will be in violation of section 25, subsection 1 (c) of the OHSA which states,

“The employer shall ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Construction Lifting and Rigging’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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