Industrial safety is an important component in determining success in industrial operations. It is important that industry players develop their systems in a manner that is appreciative of safety to be in line with legal requirements for industrial operations and also ensure high levels of motivation among their employees. Motivation within any workforce is important in ensuring that operational goals are driven at and is considered a factor that can define organizational propensity to failure.
Reputation of an industry entity is placed at risk if it employs approaches to operations that are risky to its workers and even customers. It is thus apparent that industrial entities have a lot to lose should they choose to operate in a manner that does not show appreciation for the role played by safety within their industries in ensuring ethical, legal and successful operations. Despite this knowledge being firmly ingrained within industries, cases of crane accidents have continued to maim and even kill industrial workers.
A review of recent cases to determine the causes of the accident and make recommendation on avenues that can be used in addressing this challenge is therefore aimed at ensuring improvement in working conditions for crane workers. Review of Industrial Crane Accidents A shocking revelation in review of existing rules and crane accidents that have occurred in the recent past is that OSHA has not updated its rules for workers who operate cranes for the last 38 years (CraneAccidents. com, 2008).
The labor department estimates of the fatalities shows that there are at least 82 cases of crane accidents per year (CraneAccidents. com, 2008). According to the labor department, a majority of the accidents are caused by operator errors and prevailing weather conditions especially wind (CraneAccidents. com, 2008). The differences between the figures reported by the government department OSHA and international unions of operating engineers creates an unclear picture of the extent of the problem. In one of the incidents, a rental crane failed while offloading which led to the death of two workers.
The rental crane which is operated by Ocean energy let go of the load that smashed two workers to immediate death (MMS, 2009). Though the accident is still under investigation, preliminary results show that that crane was poorly maintained and the cause are mainly due to mechanical failure (MMS, 2009). Another accident that also involved a rental crane occurred during offloading (MMS, 2009). The accident which led to the death of one worker while leaving two workers with serious injuries was mainly due to poor disassembly of a rental crane (MMS, 2009).
The crane incidences which are filled with inhumanity and pain are categorized as either minor or major cases (MMS, 2009. The definition of minor and major is dependent on the number of casualties though their potential for damage and loss of human life is immeasurable. In an incident that happened in Kentucky, a man who was standing next to a HTC-835 crane was dismembered and died one hour later in a hospital when the counterweight came around and struck him in the back (CraneAccidents. com, 2009). The unconscious body as found pinned between a counterweight and a bed of a truck (CraneAccidents. com, 2009).
One of the factors that have been cited as having played a role in the incident is the fact that there was no warning tape around the crane (CraneAccidents. com, 2009). Discussion of Causes In the first case poor maintenance of the crane that led to failure is to blame for the incident. Though the potential that cranes have in causing incidents is known, rental companies and even organization can still choose to use cranes that have not been properly serviced. Ignorance is not the case rather irresponsibility by management and worker that leads to use of cranes that could pose danger to human life and even damage property is to blame.
Irresponsibility of workers who were casualties in the incident is further brought out if their being under an offloading crane is considered. While working in an environment where crane activity is high one must have heard of incidences where cranes led to loss of lives. Taking heed of danger and appreciation of the potential that cranes have in causing damage would have pushed them into being within what can be referred to as a safe distance. Poor management of the disassembly exercise has been cited as the cause of the second incident.
This lives room for a multitude of possibilities which include lack of proper training, poor supervision, lack of preparation and poor or lack of measures that can be used in ensuring that assembly and disassembly processes are carried out in the best way possible (CraneAccidents. com, 2009). Another important factor that should be noted in the second case is the involvement of a rental cranes and issues relating to management and mechanical failure. The third case is different from the others in that the victim and operators were unaware of the risks they were in.
Labeling of potential risk has for a long term been used in industries to ensure that people aware of risks they are in. Cranes cause motion or objects that can smash human flesh to oblivion. Lack of a labels or a warning tapes around the cranes or any other moving object in an industrial setting is reflective of lack of appreciation of the potential that cranes have in causing damage to human life and property and lack of strong assessment measures for instance by OSHA to ensure that industrial entities operates within the developed safety framework.
Analysis The causes of the accident can be looked at from at least five different dimensions. Irresponsibility, poor assessment systems, poor policy making, lack of appreciation of the potential that cranes have in damaging properties and lives and lastly lack of an effective systems that can develop social awareness on problem thus its address. Irresponsible actions for instance being under a moving crane and using cranes that have not been labeled as potential risks have led to loss of lives.
Poor assessment systems are reflected in using cranes that have badly been maintained and making errors in disassembly. While technology and legal implications are changing rapidly to keep in touch with the needs of the society, the last development in OSHA with regards to crane operatives is nearly four decades ago. The relevance of the current policies to modern practice may be missing thus the lack of awareness on legal avenues that can be used in redress.
Selecting rental cranes that are in bad shape and using cranes without labeling them all point to lack of appreciation of the potential that cranes have in damaging property and destroying lives. Poor policy making may also contribute to using cranes that are not in good shape and lack of counter measures to ensure cranes used are in good working condition. The expertise, skills and experience of crane operators are important in ensuring effective management of the operations; this must be ensured by all organizations to ensure human error is minimized.
Legal measures and guideline like OSHA are also lacking in that the organization could use approaches that are lacking in safety and even lack labeling despite its potential risk yet remain operational. This is further brought out by the difficulties that victims face in seeking illegal interventions (CraneAccidents. com, 2009). Summary OSHA is not enough in reducing prevalence of the crane accidents.
Though effective legal intervention measures can reduce and even force industrial entities to put in place effective safety measures, development of an appreciation of safety is vital to ensuring that measures are put in place. The current OSHA policies have to be reviewed to ensure they are up to date with the legal and technological factors that affect crane operations. Developing awareness on rights of crane users and highlighting the accidents will also play an important role in ensuring that industrial entities are wary of incidences.
By developing awareness and helping victims seek legal redress, OSHA will ensure that organizations are aware of the negative image that can be developed by crane incidences. Responsibility is a personal issue that must be spread to all in industries. Safety training for workers would ensure that they seek their right to work in safe environments and develop awareness on risks presented by the environment they are in. It is only after appreciation of risk has been developed that effective programs can be developed.
Courtney from Study Moose
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