The sudden and unexpected detachment of boom extensions (jibs) commonly found on telescopic boom mobile cranes has resulted in serious workplace injuries, according to the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA).
Workers suffered these injuries when the jib unexpectedly detached during installation or stowage of the jib on the crane. To eliminate this hazard, it is essential that jibs are installed and stowed in accordance with the operator’s manual.
IHSA has issued a health and safety advisory around this outlining the following safe work practices:
• Cranes must be operated, inspected, and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements contained in the operator’s manual and with the regulatory requirements contained in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and any other legislation.
• Crane operators must be qualified and competent to operate a crane in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
• Employers are required by law to ensure that the crane is operated by a qualified and competent operator in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the operator’s manual.
• Workers who are assigned to assist the operator with the jib installation or stowage procedure need to take step-by-step direction from the crane operator.
• Never allow personnel to position themselves under the jib at any point throughout the installation or stowage procedure.
• Never unpin any connection before checking to ensure the jib is secure and all the steps have been performed correctly up to this point.
• Always think ahead about the potential consequences of the next step before acting.
• Re-check every pin, electronic connection, and wire-rope routing before moving or operating the crane.
The safe installation and stowage of jibs on mobile cranes depends on ensuring each step of the procedure is carried out in the proper order, as stated in the operator’s manual. Any attempt to circumvent or skip any steps in the operator’s manual may result in equipment damage, serious personal injury or death. Even qualified and competent operators who perform this task on a regular basis can become complacent and need to be reminded of the consequences that can occur if the correct procedures are not followed.