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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
August 4, 2008

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Liverpool crane collapse investigation findings prompt HSE to issue advice

A serious potential failure mode in luffing tower cranes identified by the HSE has prompted it to write to all suppliers of such cranes in the UK, asking them to take forward certain actions to prevent it happening again.

The problem was discovered by the Executive during its investigation into a fatal crane collapse in Liverpool last year. A Polish worker died when the JASO J138PA luffing jib underneath which he was working on a site in the city centre in January 2007 fell 120 feet and crushed him. An inquest on 8 July this year returned a verdict of accidental death, but the HSE’s investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Because of the seriousness of its findings the regulator is making the information it has discovered so far available to the industry now, “out of concern for the safety of workers and others, and to prevent a recurrence of this incident”.

It is advising crane suppliers and hire firms that better protective devices to prevent luffing ropes from coming off their pulleys “would significantly reduce the potential for further events, particularly where wind and operating conditions provide potential for slack rope conditions to arise”. It also warns that additional precautions may be required.

The HSE expects those with control over the design and integrity of luffing cranes to “develop an action plan for dealing with any identified issues”. Talks will also be held with the Construction Plant Hire Association and other relevant trade bodies to raise awareness and consider the need for producing guidance on measures to guard against recurrence of this sort of incident. It also intends to raise its concerns in Europe about EN 14339:2006 and the design of mechanisms that could leave luffing cranes vulnerable to the failure mode identified in its investigations.

Report on technical aspects of HSE’s investigation into the collapse of a luffing tower crane at a Liverpool construction site on 15 January 2007 can be found by clicking here

To read SHP’s news report of the original incident, go to the link below.

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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