Better Crane Safety - A Matter of Life and Death

28-Aug-2017 11:30 AM

The National Crane Safety Taskforce in Singapore has called for improvements in the safety measures for operations involving cranes in construction. This came a little over a week after the authorities called on the construction and marine industries to work on improving safety practices. This is the result of increasing number of incidents and deaths from incidents at construction and marine sites. There were nine dangerous incidents involving cranes that took the life of one worker and left four injured.

The astonishing fact is that these accidents took place in a short period of three months. According to the taskforce, these incidents in construction sites happened in the first three months of this year alone. The task force is working with the Workplace Safety and Health Council and said that it held meetings to review procedures so that future incidents can be avoided.

These findings clearly show the necessity of training through lorry crane course, fork lift course and other similar courses for handling heavy vehicles and machinery on construction sites. The major industry players have thus been pushed to take fast action and comply with standards of safety to ensure that crane operations are done in the right manner as per the specifications or requirements of the manufacturer. It was also recommended that the companies conduct regular training courses for their workers in order to refresh their skills and maintain high regard for safety.

Not only should workers be trained but also the cranes should be regularly inspected to make sure that theyare in good condition and the surrounding is safe for using cranes. The taskforce noted that the recent incidents were caused because of inadequate extension of outriggers and failure to implement requirements of the manufacturer of cranes. Additionally, insufficient training was also attributed to be another major cause.

The safety review also included the practices of cranes in marine sector because one of the incidents happened on a dock. One crane collapsed during a lifting operation and injured three workers. There have also been incidents of cranes snapping or tilting and falling.

The Singapore Cranes Association has taken the task in hands to review the training programs especially lorry crane workers. These lapses in safety can result into loss of life and loss of money. Hence it is urging every company involved in construction to implement necessary safety measure and work together to improve the overall safety of operations and workers.

Just last year, a devastating incident happened in Saudi Arabia that left 107 dead and even more injured. A crane collapsed in the Grand Mosque in Mecca. This tragic incident was a wakeup call to construction companies all around the world that safety is never enough. The safety measures need to be improved continuously and most importantly followed strictly. The incidents that happened Singapore this year alone could have had more damage if safety measures were not adopted. Hence, it is absolutely necessary to make these measures even more robust to avoid such risks all together.