Some Recent Tower Crane Accidents and the Lessons to be Learned. Tim Watson Tim Watson Consulting

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1 Some Recent Tower Crane Accidents and the Lessons to be Learned Tim Watson Tim Watson Consulting

2 Tower Crane Accident Survey May 2000 July 2009 At least 46 Serious incidents 8 in the UK 6 in China 5 in the USA 4 in Russia 3 in South Africa 2 in Germany 2 in Malta 2 in Switzerland 1 in Bahrain 1 in Canada 1 in Irish Republic 1 in Israel 1 in Malaysia 1 in Philippines 1 in Qatar 1 in Saudi Arabia 1 in Spain 1 in Singapore 1 in South Korea 1 in Taiwan 1 in Tokyo 1 in Vietnam

3 Service Condition Service Condition Quantity In-service 20 Climbing 7 Dismantling 6 Out-of-service 5 Erection 4 Not known 3 Under test 1

4 Failure Area Failure Area Quantity Foundation/Base 9 Jib 7 Tower /Base 4 Slew section 4 Tower 4 Crane top and climbing frame 3 Falling tower section 2 Jib pendant & luffing ropes 2 Suddenly moving jib section 1 Tower tie 1 Not known 9

5 Canary Wharf May 2000

6 Canary Wharf Crane was being climbed by a six man crew Collapse occurred as the last mast section was being added on the Sunday Three men fatally injured as result of the 120m fall Debris over wide area of Canada Square Issues: Training Long hours of work Inadequate planning Faulty equipment Manufacturer s instructions not being followed

7 Worthing February 2005 Two men killed One seriously injured

8 Worthing February 2005 De-rigging prior to dismantling The two erectors fatally injured working on the jib removing hoist and trolley ropes Third Erector had de-torqued tower bolts on one side of the mast Jib was slewed Slackened bolts failed and crane collapsed Crane owner prosecuted and fined 389,000 for not managing the dismantling process effectively Issues Training Planning

9 Battersea September 2006 BPR 222 Crane Crane had been in use for a number of weeks Joint below slew ring failed Jib fell across site into an adjacent road Crane Driver + Member of public killed Slew ring bolts had been replaced shortly after erection Investigation concentrating on method used to replace bolts. Issues:- Maintenance Thorough Examination Planning

10 Seattle November 2006

11 Seattle November 2006 Official enquiry blamed inadequate design of foundation Fatigue failure Lack of maintenance and inspection Issues: Planning Base design Maintenance Thorough examination

12 Liverpool - January 2007 JASO Luffer 3 years old CE marked DOC to EN Crane was in use Light load Close to minimum radius Wind near maximum inservice limit Jib fell backwards across the site during a lifting operation 1 Construction worker killed

13 Liverpool Animation

14 Liverpool Investigation Findings Jib at small angle to the vertical Wind from the front held the jib up and caused the luffing rope to go slack Luffing rope jammed in the sheaves Operator tried to lower off and paid out rope from the luffing winch, which looped down the back of the crane Luffing rope became free allowing the jib to drop until the slack rope arrested its fall Large dynamic load caused the jib to fail and the slewing section and counter jib became detached from the top of the tower at the slew ring One of the counterweights fell on a construction worker causing fatal injuries Issues: Crane design standard

15 Croydon June 2007

16 Croydon June 2007 Climbing team had not used the equipment before and had not had any specific training on its use Crane owner fined 100, ,196 costs Issues Training Planning Not following manufacturer s instructions

17 New York March 2008 Favelle Favco Luffing Jib Tower Crane 3 Fatalities Being climbed Fabric lifting sling failed, causing tie to fall Top of crane demolished building two blocks away Issues Planning Selection of equipment

18 Miami March 2008 Libeherr luffing jib crane Climbing operation Tower section fell 2 Fatalities Issues:- Planning Selection of equipment

19 Miami March 2008

20 New York May 2008 Kodiak luffing tower crane In-service but not lifting 2 Fatalities Slew ring support failed Said to be 24 years old Same owner as March incident Issues:- Maintenance Thorough examination

21 Liverpool July 2009 Wolff WK 500B Lifting a light load at a small radius Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs Tower crane collapsed onto an adjacent apartment building Investigation currently taking place

22 Issues and Guidance on Dealing with the Issues Management of installation process Planning and supervision BS Erector training NVQ and training programme CPA Technical Information Notes Design of Foundations CIRIA Tower Crane Stability document Management of use of tower cranes Planning and supervision BS CPA Best Practice Guide Safe Use of Top Slew Tower Cranes CPA Tower Crane Operator s Handbook CPA Technical Information Notes Maintenance, Inspection and Thorough Examination CPA/HSE Best Practice Guide Maintenance, Inspection and Thorough Examination of Tower Cranes

23 Guidance

24 Guidance

25 Guidance

26 Guidance

27 All Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) Guidance Documents can be downloaded free at

28 Thank You

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