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Construction Incident Involving Crane An investigation is currently underway into a crane accident which occurred near Karratha last week. Although the employee only sustained minor injuries, the incident highlights the danger of working with cranes and why only trained operators should be allowed to operate cranes. Read more about the incident from Abc.net.au:

An investigation is underway after a crane accident at Woodside’s North West Shelf Project near Karratha. An employee at the Karratha Gas Plant received minor injuries during the incident on Friday. The employee was allegedly driving the crane around with its boom extended which is a safety hazard. The crane then struck an overhead beam and the load crashed down on the windscreen, shattering it. A spokeswoman for Worksafe says an officer will investigate the incident this week. Woodside has declined to comment. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-14/worksafe-investigates-crane-accident-at-woodsi de/4197250

A crane is a powerful tool and is irreplaceable on a construction site however if used incorrectly like in the incident above, cranes can be deadly. A multitude of fatalities have occurred where workers were crushed by cranes, either when the load shifts unexpectedly or a malfunction occurs. Operators carry a huge degree of responsibility and need to be aware of the danger zones on

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site as well as how to safely operate a crane in general. Danger zones are the areas where the operator may be hit by the load or the boom section of the crane and avoid entering the danger zones while operating the crane. It is not clear whether the Karratha operator was trained and certified but operating a crane with its boom extended is an extremely unsafe practice which trained workers should know. Operators are also responsible for monitoring the load stability and must adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions in operating the crane. The crane operator in the incident mentioned above placed not only his life in danger but the lives of his co-workers as well. Crane problems may also arise from load slinging but most of these risks can be controlled successfully by consulting with the workers and planning safe work strategies. Exclusion zones on construction sites are extremely necessary when cranes are involved in order to protect the other workers on site from injury. As with all risks on construction sites, the hazards of cranes can be controlled and managed to avoid injury with a little planning by employers. Operators can assist by remaining alert behind the control and remembering their safety training whenever they are at the controls. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe work environment, safe systems of work and plant and substances are in a safe condition. Any operator needs to be certified to do so and be in possession of appropriate certificates of competency for Crane operation and Dogging. Employers must ensure that a hazard identification and risk assessment is carried out and that safe systems of work are implemented as control measures for all operations. They must also ensure that all crane operators are qualified and certified to operate the cranes. Operators must also be trained in the safe operation procedure for the crane being used. The most important rule of construction is that all workers, should be appropriately trained and qualified to perform the tasks they are given, in addition to both site specific and general safety induction training which is mandatory for work on any construction site in Oz. http://www.whitecardcourse.com

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