Aging Workforce: New Challenges in Safety and Disability Research
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the number of workers over age 55 will increase by
nearly 40 percent, and the number of workers over age 65 will almost double over the next 10 years. (BLS,
Monthly Labour Review, November 2007).
The stats for Australia are very comparable. I’ve featured just two questions and answers from the Liberty
Mutual Research Institute for Safety quarterly review Summer 2009. RDP
Are older workers more injury prone than younger
A According to Bureau of Labour Statistics data, older work- Published in the interest of promoting safety in the crane industry
ers actually have fewer lost-time injuries than younger workers
per full-time equivalent. However, for older workers who do
experience a lost-time injury, the average length of disability is
longer than that of their younger counterparts. One study Sharing and Learning
showed that the cost per lost-time workers compensation claim
for workers aged 45-64 was more than twice that of workers
aged 20-24.1 Some researchers speculate that the greater
length of disability is associated with longer work absences due
to retirement from the workforce after the injury. 1
1 Restrepo, T., Sobel, S., and Shuford, H., “Age as a Driver of Frequency and Severity,” National
Council on Compensation Insurance Research Brief, December, 2006
Q How do older workers “measure up” to their younger counterparts?
A In many jobs, the experience, quality, and learned efficiencies of older workers can actually make them
more productive than younger workers. Older workers are less likely to miss work due to non-health reasons
(e.g., family obligations) and typically develop compensatory strategies (time-acquired skills) that make them
as effective as − and often more effective than − younger workers for many kinds of tasks. Sometimes a trade-
off exists, with older workers producing higher quality work, even though speed might be somewhat decreased.
1 Liberty Mutual Loss Prevention Reference Note 5439, 2008 WWW.SAFTENG.NET
19TH NOVEMBER 2009
A lone roofer was spotted by a reader as he
passed though Darlington in the UK, he certainly
has a Death Wish.
Working alone on a high two storey house, no
roof ladders, no safety line, nothing to help save
him from serious injury or death should he loose
his footing or slip – perhaps on a little moss?
He is after all climbing around on what is a fairly
steep pitch, and one wonders if he also carried
those new tiles up by the same precarious route?
You can see that he is equipped with a Hi-Vis coat but that appears to be the only con-
cession to safety....... http://www.vertikal.net/en/stories.php?id=9106
12 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 1
where there is risk of the plant overturning. Note: these devices may not totally prevent the risk
We all know the drill to be healthy, eat the right foods, exercise, get enough rest and be sure to get
of overturning and the operator should be trained in the operation and limitations of the device.
regular medical check-ups. The usual medical exams such as blood pressure, blood chemistry,
2. All of the following actions take place:
height and weight are all areas the doctor can use to tell you whether you’re on the road to being
a) The manufacturer’s operating manual for the mobile A typical diagram for short legging of a
healthy or not. concrete placement boom is shown
plant states that short legging (i.e. partial extension of out-
However here is something you might want to think about. Being healthy is not a weight, a rate or a below.
riggers) is permitted and states the operating conditions that
moment; becoming healthy is a process. must be complied with when this practice takes place. A
Having the mind, body and spirit to conquer all that life throws at you does take some doing. It takes copy of the manual is kept with the mobile plant. In the case
time, a lifetime to be exact, it takes thought so you can visualise the process. It takes planning to of mobile cranes this information should be included on the
stay one step ahead of the gremlins and it takes courage along with determination. load chart (i.e. rated capacity chart) for the crane.
b) The outriggers are marked with an indicator that shows
To what’s inside this month’s newsletter. There’s another mobile crane tip incident detailed on page the extent of the short legging (i.e. marks on the outriggers)
09 which is very similar to the mobile crane topple detailed in the October 2009 issue on page 07. In or the operator’s manual shows how far the outriggers are to
both incidents a conflict in communication in a multi cultural setting was one of the contributory fac- be extended (i.e. by diagrams).
tors to the tip-over's. c) A work method statement has been prepared that
With the 100T Tadano there was a failure to adhere to the manufacturer’s operating procedures and shows the operating conditions under which short legging
ensure all locking devices were in place before attempting to move the crane. Independently as- can be used. For concrete placement booms and truck
sessed familiarisation of operators with each and every crane they are placed in control of, is essen- mounted elevating work platforms, the work method state-
tial before they should be allowed to operate that crane. ment is to include a diagram showing the permissible operat-
ing zone of the boom. For mobile cranes the load chart is to
Also included is a Safety Alert by WorkSafe QLD on the safe use, and an example of misuse, of
show lifting capacities of the crane with outriggers partially
short legging of mobile plant. The Qatar tip on page 08 further reinforces the need by operators to
extended. This load chart is to be complied with for all posi-
fully plan and document all aspects of the lifting activities prior to operations starting.
tions of the boom. The work method statement should be
Two boom lift tips are featured, coincidentally the same model articulated boom lifts were involved signed by both the plant operator and the principal contrac-
in both incidents. Sadly there were fatalities in both cases. Nowadays these machine have become tor’s representative (or the person in control if no principal Diagram 1: An example of a diagram for short
very sophisticated and no longer can anybody just jump in them. Machines such as these require a contractor is required for the job). legging a mobile concrete placement boom.
high level of understanding, just like a crane. Further information The diagram shows the permitted operating
zone. Note: partial road closure obtained and
Your opinion and any queries and wishes you may have are extremely important to us! Let us know Further information on the safe support of mobile cranes traffic control procedures implemented.
what's on your mind. Please send your contributions to email@example.com or contact us and mobile concrete placement booms is provided in Sec-
by phone on +61 7 3907 5800. (RDP) tion 11 of the Mobile Crane Code of Practice 2006 and the Concrete Pumping Code of Practice
For more information visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au or call the Workplace Health and Safety Infoline
IN THIS ISSUE ON THE COVER on 1300 369 915.
Crane left dangling over Bow building site 03
QLD: work-related accidents escalating 03 PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Fatal boom tip 04
Boom goes down in Kansas 05
Myth: children need to be kept in cotton wool 05
Tower crane incident: lessons learnt 06
Putting the ‘H’ into OHS 07
Fatal loader accident 07
Give yourself a lift 07
Qatar tip 08
Who trained him then? 08
Recycle for life 08
Tadano 100T mobile crane topple 09
QLD safety alert: risks of short legging 10 A dual lift for McMahon Services at Grain Corp
Photo of the week 11 in Pinkenba, Brisbane, QLD. Universal Cranes
Aging workforce: new challenges 12 Brisbane removed two 37 tonne conveyor
Crazy roofer 12 sections 28 metres long to make way for new
The two cranes used for the lift were a Demag
AC-200 with 68t of counterweight and a Grove Australian safety thongs!!
GMK-5130 with 40.1t of counterweight.
2 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 11
SAFETY ALERT Crane left dangling over Bow building site
Risks of short legging when using mobile plant 29 September 2009
The purpose of this safety alert is to: Alberta officials are investigating another incident at a down-
highlight and discourage the activity of short legging of town Calgary construction site, this time involving the failure of
mobile concrete placement booms, mobile cranes and a small crane.
truck mounted elevating work platforms, and make persons The mobile crane, which was roped to the Bow building, fell off
aware of control measures to be applied if short legging is the third storey, smashed into some windows and was left dan-
ever used. gling over the construction site.
Short legging refers to outrigger legs on the vehicle they A mobile crane fell from the third storey of a construction site
are supporting only being partially extended. on Saturday, smashed into some windows and was left dan-
Background gling. "There was a hoist that was lifting a window panel, and
In Brisbane in 2009 a 36 metre mobile concrete placement the hoist failed, and the window panel fell approximately 20
boom overturned. The boom overturned in close proximity feet," said a spokesman for Alberta Employment. "And as a
to overhead power lines and office blocks. One of the ma- result of that, the hoist has been removed to be inspected and
jor causes of the incident was that the outriggers had been certified, and we have Occupational Health and Safety officers
short legged on one side of the vehicle. When the boom investigating it."
was moved (slewed) towards the side of the vehicle with The worker operating the crane at the time was not hurt.
the short legged outriggers, the vehicle overturned. The Bow complex, located on Centre Street between Fifth and
Previous overturning incidents due to short legging have Sixth Avenues S.E., will be the new headquarters for EnCana
occurred around Australia. These incidents include mobile Corp.
concrete placement booms, mobile cranes and truck overturned mobile concrete placement boom
mounted elevating work platforms. The Development company building the Bow, said safety proto-
Outriggers normally telescope outwards from the vehicle, but on some mobile plant they may swing cols "worked as designed" on the day in question
outwards. Although the way the outriggers are extended may vary, the potential hazard of not ex- "Tethering prevented the crane from falling, and no injuries were sustained," said the company in a
tending the outriggers correctly will be the same – the unit can fall over. statement. "Repairs to the equipment will be made quickly, and the company will assist Alberta Oc-
Diagram 1: Telescope outriggers cupational Safety and Health in its required investigation."
Short legging is a practice that is often carried out due to one or more of the following factors: The failed crane is the latest in a string of construction-related incidents in the downtown area.
Restrictive set up areas for the mobile concrete placement boom, mobile crane or elevating work A piece of scaffolding blew off the 19th floor of the Penn West Plaza building on Ninth Avenue on
platform (i.e. lack of an adequate set up area, underground services and obstructions such as barri- Saturday. No one was hurt.
ers, roads, and structures). This lack of a suitable set up area could be caused by poor planning in
the building or construction process or by unavoidable factors. On Aug. 1, a three year old child, was killed after being struck by a piece of corrugated metal. High
Unsuitable ground conditions for safe support of the outrigger feet (i.e. the ground is sloping, uneven winds had blown the roofing material from the 18-storey Le Germain hotel and condo site at 112
or too soft). Ninth Ave. S.W.
A poor understanding of safe work practices on the part of the mobile plant operator. The developer and builders of the high rise were charged on Friday with violating the Alberta Safety
It should be noted that points (1) and (2) may be outside of the operator’s control and the operator Codes Act.
may be pressured into setting the mobile plant up in a less than ideal way. The hirer and/or principal WWW.CBCNEWS.CA
contractor therefore have a major role to play so that the mobile plant can be safely set up.
Recommended control measures
QLD: Work-Related Accidents in Transport Sector Escalating
Short legging is a practice that should be avoided wherever possible, due to the increased risk of
overturning the mobile plant. Saturday Oct 31 2009
At the design stage, building designers should consider that adequate space is available so that Alarming statistics released by the State Government show an increase in the number of
mobile plant required as part of the building process, can be safely set up. workers in the transport industry being injured and killed on the job. This comes at a time
Persons in control of workplaces and principal contractors should ensure that adequate room is when the overall number of workplace injuries are on the decline.
available to enable mobile plant to be set up safely. This includes, both operation of the mobile plant
and ancillary activities such as cleaning out concrete lines or rigging a crane. It may also include Work-related accidents involving truck, bus, taxi and courier drivers are one of the highest among all
obtaining road or footpath closures from the relevant authority. The company supplying the mobile industries, trailing only the manufacturing sector.
plant should provide the hirer with the actual area required to set up the plant with outriggers fully Aside from workplace related deaths, accidents and illnesses affect more than 80 workers each day.
extended, expressed as a length by width dimension in metres. The hirer should also request this This is equivalent to more than $5 billion a year in costs. This is apart from the suffering and misery
information from the plant supplier. brought about by unfortunate work-related incidents.
Sometimes it may be impractical to set up the mobile plant with outriggers fully extended. This can Safe Work Australia week, currently ongoing, is a reminder that deaths or injuries are still prevalent
be due to inadequate planning prior to the arrival of the plant on site, or extraordinary circum- despite advances in technology over the years. This is an unacceptable scenario when simple solu-
stances. tions like adherence to safety laws, implementation of safe work procedures, regular induction and
If short legging is ever used either option 1 or 2 should be implemented: good work practices are available.
1. The mobile plant is fitted with a slew limiting device that prevents the boom slewing into the zone
10 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 3
Fatal boom tip Tadano 100T All-Terrain Mobile Crane Topple
October 13, 2009 12th October 2009
A man died yesterday after the boom lift he was Incident Description:
working in toppled over after a wheel broke A 100 tonne mobile crane was operated in level mode on
through a manhole cover, in Philadelphia Penn- its outriggers and needed to be moved to a nearby loca-
sylvania. tion for a new lift. The crane operator climbed down from
the cab and fully retracted the outriggers, leaving the
The lift was being used by a man to inspect the crane supported and stabilized on its wheels but on a 5%
steeple of the First Presbyterian Church at 21st grade due to sloped paving.
and Walnut Streets. The operator was driving As the operator climbed back into the crane cab, the
and steering the machine, which was fully tele- turntable slewed under the effect of the moment arm
scoped with its riser fully retracted and lowered, caused by the crane’s 45 tonne counterweight ballast
when one of the wheels went over an electrical and the 5% slope. The counterweight’s centre of gravity
cable manhole cover which gave way under its changed on the crane chassis then caused the unit to
weight. topple backwards, coming to rest adjacent to new plant
The boom lifts wheel broke through a man- equipment and resulting in minor material damage (no injuries).
hole cover The incident resulted from several errors by the crane operator during preparation for moving the
Witnesses say that the lift, a recent model JLG 1250AJP owned by Interstate Aerials,
· Crane boom not stowed but left in the air (angle greater than 70° )
tilted over, recovered sending the boom the other way, tilted again and the second · Turntable hydraulic slew brake not set and not “pin locked” to the chassis
time went over sideways, with the boom striking a building opposite, showering the · Counterweights not stowed
street with bricks, before striking a parked utility truck and then the ground. The 40 · Failure to recognize that the 5% slope could cause the
year old operator, was wearing a harness and was left suspended from his lanyard. crane to become unstable in the above configuration.
The fallen boom lift The lifting supervisor recognized that the crane was
becoming unstable and had advised the crane operator.
He was rushed to hospital where he later The crane operator acknowledged he had heard the
died from his injuries, a woman passer lifting supervisor, but took no action to change the situa-
by was also injured. The falling lift also tion. The lifting supervisor then took no further action,
caused considerable damage to street even though he recognized the danger. The crane opera-
lights and signs tor had been on site for three months operating different
Later reports say that the company had cranes, but had only been operating this unit for six days.
not applied for a road closure permit and Incident Root Causes:
was operating the machine on the side- 1. Improper attempt to save time & effort by the crane operator
walk in order to avoid disruption to traf- The crane operator failed to adhere to manufacturer’s prescribed operating practices and did not
understand the potential consequences of his actions.
fic. A co-worker who was on the ground,
2. Breakdown of effective teamwork, in particular between lifting supervisor and crane opera-
is also said to have "gone around the tor caused by ineffective communication in a multi-cultural setting compounded by poorly
corner to check on some other work defined responsibilities
when the accident occurred". The crane operator (Chinese Singaporean National) did not accept the lift supervisor’s instructions.
The lift supervisor (Indian National) was unsuccessful in stopping the unsafe operation that he had
Vertikal Comment recognized.
This is a very rare type of accident, a boom such as this will often recover from such a 3. Lack of an effective controls process to ensure safe field practices for all crane activities -
'pothole' incident and as long as the operator has a harness on he stands a good Insufficient monitoring / auditing of the actual setting up / demobilizing of cranes for relocation. Inef-
chance of surviving. In this case though he was unlucky. fective verification of crane operator’s qualifications, competency and experience in the crane as-
signed to the operator.
Sadly he clearly had not seen the manhole cover on the ground before going up, or
from the platform as he manoeuvred. Checking the ground conditions before driving Lessons Learned:
such a machine from such a height is essential, and will normally prevent such an acci- 1. Lack of effective controls (i.e. system verification) will
dent occurring. allow personnel with less than adequate qualifications,
competencies, and experience on to the job site with risk
www.vertikal.net/en/stories.php?id=8868 potential of unsafe acts that may lead to incidents
2. Communication styles in a multi-cultural setting can
A Question impact the effectiveness of team interaction and interven-
tion processes that will ensure safe work execution
3. Sharing of responsibilities and acknowledged authori-
Is it true that there are more people caused by accidents than accidents caused by peo- ties for all stages of work execution must be defined and
ple? understood by all involved personnel. source preferred to remain anonymous
4 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 9
Qatar tip The crane had a good deal of its boom Boom goes down in Kansas
extended when it tipped over, fortunately
November 17, 2009 November 11, 2009
no one was seriously hurt. The operator
suffered some minor injuries but was OK. An articulated boom lift tipped over in Kansas City
The boom hit a wall a tree and then the killing one of its two occupants.
street and buckled. The two men were steelworkers installing beams
The accident investigation begins from the platform of a 125ft/38 metre JLG 1250AJP
when it went over backwards.
A 100 tonne and a 50 tonne crane were
called in to recover the fallen crane but An overview of the accident scene
were unable to retract the boom suffi- The men, both of whom were in their 30s, were
ciently for a recovery. The second, third working at a height of around 20 to 25 metres and
and fourth sections were removed. both were reported to have been wearing har-
nesses with short lanyards. However one man-
Ryan Goodman, 35, died from his injuries while the
A truck mounted crane tipped over in the other, Shane Wagener, 30, is reported to be seri-
Al-wakrah area of Qatar last week while ous but stable in a Kansas City hospital.
lifting a six tonne pumping station. Photos from the scene provide little indication of what may have caused the accident,
The crane, one of two Kato truck cranes local reports say that the conditions were windy, and there appeared to be a set of
carrying out a series of such lifts had been lifting chains in the platform. The basket came to rest on the bed of a truck load of
unable to fully extend all four of its outrig- steel beams.
gers due to the confined space or poor The fallen boom
The telescopic riser /lower boom, was tele-
The ringed load is similar to the one scoped roughly half way but looks as
that tipped this crane though it was not fully raised, although
this could easily be the distorted perspec-
tive from the photograph or its tipped po-
WHO TRAINED HIM THEN? sition. The ground conditions look to be
The boom, owned by a local rental com-
pany, was working on the Kauffman Cen-
This man and the operator believe that the clam shell of a tre for the Performing Arts. The men were
an excavator is a suitable work platform. working for a Detroit-based subcontractor,
according to the Kansas City-based general contractor Construction Group.
The boom came down across a trailer load of steel
The site was closed for the day and is likely to reopen tomorrow. It is the first serious
www.vertikal.net/en/journal.php accident on the site which opened in 2006.
The president of Construction Group said: "We have an onsite safety team down there
Recycle for Life and are working with investigators, both local and any federal agencies, to determine
We can use what we need - and still leave some
to spare. what caused this accident. We're very deeply saddened by this event. Our heartfelt
The bounties of nature are there for our use,
We can start on the process of setting things thoughts and prayers are with the families." www.vertikal.net/en/stories.php?id=9058
But we’ve treated them poorly - without good
We abused it, misused it, and threw it away, Clean up our environment - Before It’s Too Late.
Now the bills coming due - and we'll all have to MYTH: CHILDREN NEED TO BE KEPT IN COTTON WOOL TO
pay. Remember " Recycle", let that resource keep KEEP THEM SAFE
It's a much better life to our kids we'll be giving. The reality: Health and safety law is often used as an excuse to stop children
We can chose to ignore it, and put off the debt, taking part in exciting activities, but well-managed risk is good for them. It
Pass it on down to those not born yet. If we keep on abusing the Earth - We should
know, engages their imagination, helps them learn and even teaches them to man-
But the debts getting bigger and bigger each
When it won't support life - ' We've got no place to age risks for themselves in the future. They won’t understand about risk if
go' they’re wrapped in cotton wool.
And they may not be able to pay it - I fear.
Risk itself won’t damage children, but ill-managed and overprotective actions
With each of us acting with reasonable care, Don Merrell firstname.lastname@example.org could!
8 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 5
Tower crane incident: Lessons "Putting the 'H' into OHS" by Dr John Tickell
learned pany is
30 September 2009 committed Sunday is a day of rest for all. Well, it used to be.
UK plant hire firm Select Plant Hire said “lessons to ensuring Long, unpredictable work hours and weekend work now has Australia moving to the head of the
have been learned”, following its receipt of a safety on rankings as the most work-intense high income country in the world – even worse than the USA.
all its sites Sunday used to be sacrosanct, but now up to a quarter of our family lives are being dramatically
£100,000 fine after the top of a tower crane it was
and deeply interfered with by people working on the traditional day of rest.
extending fell in Croydon in June 2007.
circum- “It’s progress”, they say.
stances Correct – backwards.
which led And for what benefits? None really.
isolated Technology was supposed to make life more efficient and cut back our working hours, leaving more
incident. time for family and leisure, but in fact the opposite has happened.
“Lessons Relationship Forum has called this “an unexpected human tragedy.” Low income groups are more
have been affected but they impact is shared across all sectors of the community.
learned And worse is to come.
from this, “The past three decades of prosperity have come at an unexpected price”.
long before today’s case, and a thorough review
undertaken of all crane procedures to ensure Family First….Second….Third?
Dartford, UK-based Select was fined £100,000 nothing like this can happen again.” To view other articles by Dr John Tickell visit www.drjohntickell.com
plus costs of £33,000 at a case at the Old Bai- The spokesperson said the trial was told of a
ley in Central London after being prosecuted number of steps and measures now in place at
over the incident, which saw the top of the Co-
Fatal Loader crane accident
Select, which are designed to safeguard the
medil tower crane fall into the Croydon Park well-being of its employees and prevent a simi- November 6, 2009
Hotel. This left the crane’s operator with multiple lar accident occurring again. A 47 year old man died in north Queensland after he was struck by the boom of the
injuries, although no one was killed. loader crane he was using.
These include: two days a month of formal train-
The crane’s cab fell after an erection crew, ing for operatives; six days a month of refresher Few details were available, but it appears that the man was unloading some equipment
working to extend the tower, removed fittings training; creating two new roles to oversee in a remote area at High Range, near Townsville when he was crushed by the crane’s
and failed to secure the cab with the required safety and onsite work practices; opening a new boom.
bolts and washers. crane training facility at its St Neots facility;
introducing a critical culture, where employees Workplace Health and Safety is investigating the accident and police will prepare a re-
are encouraged to ask questions; introducing port for the coroner.
method statements with visual aids; piloting 3D
technologies as visual aids; producing a de-
tailed load list, to ensure all crane components Give yourself a lift
are delivered to site; and producing an em-
October 8, 2009
ployee newsletter with a focus on legislation
and examples of good, and bad, practices. A loader crane operator
Select, part of the Laing O’Rourke group of from Sweden was
companies, has also produced an instructional caught taking a short
DVD alongside construction firm Bovis, de- cut to the roof of a
signed for internal use but with the potential for building in Gothenburg,
“Firstly let me re-state the over-arching impor- wider use in the crane industry. The Health and
where he needed to
tance of safety in our business,” a spokesper- Safety Executive has seen this DVD, and said it
is “excellent”. place his load.
son for Select said. “Select Plant Hire has had
an impeccable record and we take the safety of Riding the forks up to
employees, of our partners and of course the his destination while not
wider public extremely seriously. comfortable or safe,
was clearly easier or
Not exactly the most comfortable seat in town.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. faster than taking the Spot the remote controls
stairs or a ladder.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Up he goes heading for the roof
6 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 LIFTING MATTERS November 2009 7