In the last few weeks numerous accidents have been reported involving construction sites and heavy equipment. Some have resulted in deaths, others in injuries, and fortunately some in neither. However, the concerns of safety and monetary costs are undoubtedly at threat in all incidents.
In Darwin, Australia two families barely escaped injury and possible death as a 50-ton crane crashed into their homes.
Liverpool, UK has suffered its third crane death this year. One man was killed at Wavetree Technology Park when a crane fell on him while another was injured. Another was killed by a steel girder, and the last was killed by a crane collapse in the city centre.
Six construction workers were buried last Wednesday in Beijing, China when a subway construction site collapsed in on them. Their fate remains unknown.
A man was killed in New Zealand on March 31 when the crane on his truck and trailer fell and crushed him.
Four workers excavating and working on the basement of a three-story home in San Francisco were hospitalized with minor injuries after the earth caved in around them.
In San Antonio, TX a crane snapped and sent metal beams onto the 410 freeway. Fortunately, the freeway was already closed for construction work, and no workers were injured.
It is obvious that accidents are occurring too frequently in the construction and heavy equipment industry throughout the world. Some may be unpreventable due to natural causes or other means, but one thing that will assuredly help minimize these accidents is an increased emphasis on safety procedures.
In construction and heavy equipment industries there should be regularly occurring inspections on all pieces of equipment, certified and qualified operators for every piece of equipment, as well as certified and qualified managerial staff on site. Knowing emergency procedures and having emergency plans, as well as trustworthy and capable workers are only scratching the surface in aspects of heavy equipment accident prevention.
Perhaps the only positive thing to be gained from these tragic accidents is to learn from them. Such accidents may be able to help the industry eliminate the root of the problem. The goal is an accident-free industry. This is the aim of The National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools-NAHETS.