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Dark shadow hangs over Canadian GP as worker dies in crane accident

by , 10 June 2013
Yesterday's Canadian Grand Prix was marred by the death of a track marshal. The 38 year old, apparently died after he slipped under the wheel of a crane at the end of the Formula One event. It's a devastating tragedy and one that should serve as a reminder that companies should insist employees stick to crane safety regulations - no matter what!


According to the FIA, the marshal was escorting the crane as it moved Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber car shortly after the checkered flag waved to signal the end of the race.
'The recovery vehicle had lifted the car to return it to the pits, and while doing this, the worker dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up,' Matteo Bonciani, F1's head spokesman told the media during a press statement attended by Ottawa Citizen.

And although race track trauma staff treated the worker enough to have him taken to hospital by helicopter, he was declared dead a few hours after being admitted, reports The Sun.

But making sure your employees don't accidently get run over on a construction site isn't the only thing you need to remember when it comes to working with heavy duty machinery like cranes. In fact, says the Health and Safety Advisor  there are four things you need to include as part of your best practices for operating cranes.

Make sure your employees follow these four best practices for operating cranes

  1. Legal requirements differentiate between jib cranes (with a lifting capacity of 5 000kg or more) and cranes (with a lifting capacity of less than 5 000kg). However, it's better to apply the same standards to all operators of cranes in the interest of safety and to prevent damage to property and equipment.
  2. The legislation doesn't make any reference to other items of lifting equipment such as jacks, chain blocks, tirfors, vehicle service lifts etc. It's better to apply the same inspection standards and the maintenance of registers to these items of equipment as they're often overlooked and neglected.
  3. There are also numerous items of equipment lifted that aren't covered in legislation such as concrete buckets, rubbish and other skips and man-lifting baskets. Include these in the inspections and testing system and the register.
  4. Provide the slinger, banksman, riggers and conductors with the same training and experience as the crane operator so you can interchange their duties when necessary. It's very good practice if you practise this interchange deliberately to relieve the crane operator periodically, especially with tower cranes. This is in the event of the crane operator falling ill.

By following these best practices, you can avoid potential injury to your employees, costly damage to, and closure of your business by ensuring your employees safely operate cranes and other heavy lifting machinery.


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