Safety Alert: Suspended Load and Pinch Points
Two port workers were rigging a clamshell bucket to a crane hook. When they had done, they signalled the crane operator to cable up. The clamshell bucket lifted off the dock and began to spin and swing towards a grain hopper leg.
The port workers grasped the clamshell bucket attempting to control the movement and prevent it from colliding with the grain hopper leg. The weight and momentum of the clamshell bucket was too great, and one of the workers was momentarily caught between the clamshell bucket and the leg of the hopper. He suffered a broken pelvis and lacerations to his abdomen.
- Assess the likelihood of uncontrolled movement and eliminate the risk where practicable before lifting.
- Position the crane hook directly over the load to prevent the load from swinging when it is hoisted.
- Crane operators should plan for boom deflection when making lifts to reduce the amount the object swings when being lifted.
- Employees should be appropriately trained and qualified for lifting operations and rigging before performing such duties.
Never put your body in the line of fire
- Stand clear of any raised load and areas where a raised load could fall or swing.
- Where physical control is feasible and has been identified by a competent risk assessment as part of a safe system of work, use tag lines or push sticks to control suspended loads and to stay clear of any hazard zones.
ICHCA International is committed to helping industry to learn lessons fast, learn them once and make sure that they stay learnt. This information is intended to provide all organisations in the cargo supply chain with the opportunity to consider the events and to review and adapt their own health and safety control measures to proactively prevent future incidents.
We are grateful to Signal Mutual for providing details and for raising awareness. We acknowledge their commitment to sharing learning to benefit others. If you have similar operations, please share this information with managers, operatives and any potentially affected third parties as appropriate. Please also review any of your relevant operations for similar hazardous conditions, risks, and controls. Learning content like this is highly valuable as it is based on real-world experience. We encourage everyone with publishable information about incidents to send it to us, so that we can raise awareness across the whole industry. Please contact us at email@example.com; sharing your insight could save a life or prevent injury.