May 122010

image Hong Kong’s Marine Department has issued the following safety alert regarding safe working practices around cranes:

A serious accident occurred in January 2010 in which a coxswain onboard a dredger was seriously injured attempting to lubricate the crane turntable whilst the crane was operating. The investigation into the accident revealed that the coxswain climbed beneath the crane turntable without notifying the crane operator. He was caught between the mudguard and the turntable and severely injured by the motion of the machinery.

The prime cause of the accident was the failure of the coxswain, who was also the person in charge of the work, to observe the safe working practices which had been clearly posted onboard.

2. To avoid recurrence of similar accidents, owners, persons in charge of works, coxswains of dredgers, lighters and vessels engaged in marine constructions, workers and site agents participating in marine construction works are reminded to adhere strictly to the following safety measures:

i) All personnel should be prevented access to the turning parts of the crane structure while it is in operation through demarcation of an adequate safety area with distinctive paint markings on the deck surface and fencing; and

ii) maintenance or any other works on a crane should only be carried out while it is completely secured with its prime mover switched off. Measures should be taken to avoid any inadvertent movement of the crane whilst such work is being
carried out.

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