Heavy Equipment (KV91)


What Happened?

January 9, 2013, A crane operator was operating a boom truck in an 11-foot closed lane on a bridge repair project. The crane operator's space was limited due to oncoming traffic so he was unable to extend the outriggers. As he was removing the steel needle beams (1,796 lbs) the operator lost control of the load and the crane flipped over onto the eastbound lane. He was transported to the hospital for a leg injury. 

Additional OSHA inspection determined the crane was operating outside of the maximum parameters in comparison with the manufacturer's load charts.

Contributing Factors

If any of the crew members would have used the 2-Minute drill card they would have noticed the crane was the incorrect size for the task needed on the bridge due to the limited space and reduced load rating.  

What Can We Learn?


The Operator could have used a Questioning Attitude to prevent this incident by asking "what is the worst thing that is most likely to happen to me, my peer, or my team?"

The Operator should have used the written Procedures to determine that he was operating outside the maximum parameters of the manufacturer's load charts.


Overconfidence played a part in this situation as the employee overestimated his knowledge, underestimated the risks, and exaggerated his ability to control events.

The bridges limited capacity presented the Physical Environment trap.  

Ask the Right Questions

How does this relate to our work?

Where do we have similar traps?

What Tools can we use to avoid a similar incident?

Was a stop work point missed?