Konecranes, a leading supplier of overhead cranes and lifting equipment, has released key findings of its Crane Accident study.
“Many crane accidents are caused by poor or improper rigging practices,” said Jim Lang, general manager of the Konecranes Training Institute in Berlin, Wisc. “One of the key items we learned from our Crane Accident study covering 10 years’ worth of overhead crane accidents was that 59% of the time when a load dropped this was due to a rigging issue. This very common deficiency is what we address in our Rigging Fundamentals course.”
Details revealed by the study are available in a short video produced by Konecranes Training Institute. It can be estimated that up to 70% of the overhead crane accidents may have been prevented by proper training.
According to Lang, the Rigging Fundamentals course from the Konecranes Training Institute teaches workers how to safely rig loads for different lifting conditions. For example, a 5,000-pound load rigged for a low headroom lift close to the ceiling could potentially require chains rated at 25,000 pounds or greater rather than 5,000 pounds depending on the angle between the hook and the load. Acute angles may multiply lifting stresses by more than five times the actual weight of the load.
Nucor Steel Gallatin in Ghent, Ky., has hosted the Rigging Fundamentals and Signalling courses more than 20 times, covering more than 300 employees over in 2014. According to Nucor Steel Gallatin’s Electrical Engineer Joe Rachford, the course has been invaluable since OSHA regulations changed to differentiate between operational and construction lifts.
“We could be picking up a motor, and if it is an in-kind motor, that is a maintenance lift and qualifies as operational. However, if it is an upgraded energy-efficient motor, it becomes a construction lift as it is new equipment,” says Rachford. “To cover ourselves, we now train everyone to the more stringent standards for construction lifts.”
Rachford says that while Konecranes training overlaps much of what Nucor had already established with their normal maintenance procedures, the Konecranes course is more technical and contains much more detail.
“We received very positive critiques coming back from the individual associates who completed the classes. I looked at every one and for the most part, all were very complimentary,” says Rachford.
Nucor Steel’s Gallatin campus is now working with Jim Lang to put four individuals through Konecranes “train the trainer” course to ensure that there is a trainer available on-site when needed. Instructors must complete training every two years to remain certified, and the training materials are licensed from Konecranes.
“Since all of our new hires must complete the course before they can perform construction lift work, this program gives us the ability to go to our training room and immediately provide the same one-on-one instruction that Konecranes conducts on site,” Rachford said. “It is a great time-saver for us.”