"The Resource Centre For Hazardous Area Professionals"

Social Media

Box Hill Accident Highlights Gap In Crane Safety

Print PDF
User Rating: / 0

Box Hill Accident Highlights Gap In Crane Safety

Thanks to the internet, we’re able to hear about stories that would never have otherwise crossed our periphery.

One such piece of news in the construction industry this week was an accident in Melbourne, Australia this past week on a run-of-the-mill construction site. A kibble full of fresh concrete fell from a crane, submerging three workers and leaving one dead, with another fighting for his life.

The cause of the incident is still being explored, although initial reports point to a mechanical failure of the wedge socket, with the hook on the crane coming loose on only its first operation. In response, Aussie authorities have ordered more than 60 other Raimondi cranes supplied by the same company to cease work until the investigation is completed. (Read More)


While this may be a case of poor maintenance or a dodgy dealership, it nevertheless highlights an area that is too often glossed over in site safety training and presentations. Cranes are subject to extremely tight risk control, and should be taken as a serious potential hazard by everyone around them. Yet a combination of factors can lead people to underestimate the dangers posed by this machinery.

Unlike other vehicles on site - such as diggers, dumper trucks or forklifts - cranes tend to be removed from the immediate environment on the ground. This can lull workers into a false sense of security, believing that they don’t have to be aware if the crane and hoist are not on a level with them. The need for careful planning and oversight of cranes can also lead people to feel that someone else is taking care of things, and that they need not worry.

There is no sign of wrongdoing on the part of any of the employees in this incident, and accidents do happen. But the tragedy does highlight the potential for cranes to cause harm, even if - as in this instance - they appear to be brand new and otherwise reliable. Being mindful of their presence, and taking every possible precaution to prevent people being caught in their path, should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

For more information visit: