2. How can I prevent crane accidents happening again?
LK – Given the statistical responsibility of Lift Directors and Site Supervisors in documented crane accidents, the mitigation of these is achievable through three, simple steps.
First, there must be a qualified person in charge. Whether known or not, someone is always in charge. The key difference here is that they must be qualified.
In turn, that qualified person must make a plan for the lift. This should be as detailed as is necessary, depending on the complexity of the lift.
Finally, and crucially, the qualified person in charge must communicate the lift plan to everyone involved in the pick.
JOC – Larry’s emphasis on qualified personnel is very deliberate, and begs the question, what is the definition of ‘qualified’?
Both OSHA and ANSI/ASME (the author of public safety standards related to cranes and lifting that informs OSHA regulations) define a ‘qualified person’ as, “a person who, by possession of a recognized degree in an applicable field or a certificate of professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter and work.”
Crucially, it is the employer’s responsibility to determine the qualification level of their personnel and the further responsibility to designate personnel to roles for which they have been deemed qualified.
JL – Fundamentally, safe and successful lifts that are incident- and accident-free depend on high-levels of communication and collaboration.
Key to the core of that communication is the appropriate designation of roles and responsibilities. Each person involved with the lift must understand how they are involved and what is the expectation of them.
Finally, it is only through rigorous and job-specific training that we can ensure all personnel are capable of meeting the responsibilities clearly communicated to them.