Pin key to site death

Crane fall re­port blames miss­ing part


A SMALL miss­ing safety pin caused a crane ac­ci­dent at a Box Hill build­ing site that killed a worker and left an­other in se­ri­ous con­di­tion in hos­pi­tal, a com­pany in­ves­ti­ga­tion has found.

Shaun Burns, 48, was killed when a kib­ble car­ry­ing more than a tonne of con­crete fell from a crane last month.

His co-worker, a 28-year old Caro­line Springs man, was also in­jured and re­mained in a se­ri­ous but sta­ble con­di­tion in the Royal Mel­bourne Hos­pi­tal last night. An­other worker had mi­nor in­juries.

An in­ter­nal re­port from Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer Rai­mondi Cranes, seen by the Her­ald

Sun, states a pin was not in place on the crane when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened. “The safety pin is a sim­ple but crit­i­cal com­po­nent of the hoist rope ter­mi­na­tion as­sem­bly, which, if miss­ing, could re­sult in the grad­ual loos­en­ing of the nuts se­cur­ing the ter­mi­na­tion as­sem­bly,” the re­port says.

“In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing to de­ter­mine at which point of the sup­ply chain the safety pin was un­ac­counted for, but ini­tial in­di­ca­tions are that the safety pin was miss­ing at the time of in­stal­la­tion of the crane at Box Hill site.”

The re­port said there were “no de­fects in the hoist rope … de­sign”, and that it was “paramount” Rai­mondi’s clients “en­sure that all crane com­po­nents (in­clud­ing safety pins) are iden­ti­fied and as­sessed as be­ing prop­erly in­stalled.”

But Clark Cranes di­rec­tor Michael Clark re­jected the re­port’s find­ings, say­ing the safety pin was Rai­mondi’s re­spon­si­bil­ity. “The hoist rope ter­mi­na­tion as­sem­bly is built and as­sem­bled by the man­u­fac­turer in Italy. It is not re­assem­bled or al­tered in any way upon ar­rival in Aus­tralia. In this re­spect it is much like an airbag in a car,” he said.

The CFMEU has crit­i­cised Clark Cranes be­cause it did not sign up to “green sticker” crane road­wor­thy checks.

But Mr Clark said safety was the com­pany’s “No. 1 pri­or­ity”. “We have al­ways rig­or­ously ad­hered to the man­u­fac­tur­ers rec­om­mended main­te­nance stan­dards. These are as good, or bet­ter, than any­thing re­quired by the green sticker as­sess­ment pro­gram,” he said.

It was the sec­ond ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing a Rai­mondi crane this year, with both op­er­ated by Clark Cranes.

A Work­Safe in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing.

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