At 8:15 a.m. on April 14, 2017, an employee was assisting in the disassembly of a crane. The employee was standing on top of the lattice boom of a Manitowoc crane to connect endless loop slings to a four-way chain sling, while two coworkers connected slings to the boom from ground level. During connection of the slings, the crane operator began to lower the boom to disengage the lower boom pins. This occurred while the employee was still standing on top of the boom. The pins disengaged and the boom fell suddenly, causing the employee to fall approximately 9.5 feet to the ground. He sustained a fractured cervical spine, which he was hospitalized and received treatment.
The operator did not verify that all members of the crew were in safe positions before he began to lower the boom.
It is unclear if a disassembly procedure was available to the team or if a pre-job brief was conducted to clearly layout sequence, roles, and hazards.
What Can We Learn?
Questioning Attitude would have stopped the employee from being on the boom as it was being lowered.
Effective Communication should have been used between the operator and spotter letting the operator know when it was safe to lower the boom.
The employee was Overconfident in thinking he could stay on the boom as it was moving. He fell over 9.5 foot to the ground and did not have any form of fall protection.
Peer Pressure may have been a factor; the employee on the boom may have convinced the operator he could hold on during the move.
Ask the Right Questions