The April 2016 issue of Safety + Health covers a scenario where a new employee spotted an outrigger problem on a crane pick and spoke up. Doing so, likely prevented a disastrous equipment tip-over.
This kind of awareness is something that can’t be emphasized enough. It’s one of the reasons why it’s the #1 point in our safe outrigger pad handling guidelines.
- Think safety. Slow down and use common sense.
- No set of safety guidelines can cover all possible scenarios. When in doubt, slow down and stop the process. Think it through.
- Look for impediments, depressions, voids, trenches, excavations, slopes or signs of poor ground conditions that can lead to an unsafe situation. If found, correct the situation to a compacted and level surface or do not set up.
- Be aware of potential vehicle traffic that may conflict with your area of operation. Redirect traffic or adjust your outrigger set up as needed.
- By itself, no outrigger pad can provide a complete guarantee of safety. Common sense always needs to be used.
To read the April 2016 Safety + Health article, Staying Safe in Construction, please see the following link. We’ve provided a portion of the article below.
Maybe it was nothing.
A worker at Chicago-based McHugh Construction Co. thought he might have spotted a problem with an outrigger on a crane pick. He was relatively new to the job. His bosses had encouraged him to speak up if he ever saw anything that seemed amiss. Still, it seemed like a bold move to stop work and call his superiors. What if he was wrong? What if it was nothing?
Then again, what if it was something?
The worker trusted his instincts. He made the call.
“Here’s a young kid – and I say young because they’re not old like me – but he’s not afraid to say, ‘Hey, stop the work, I need to make a call,’” recalls Jerry Flemming, vice president of risk management at McHugh. “He said, ‘Hey, is this right?’ We said, ‘Whoa – no, stop! It’s not right. Good call!’ We were patting him on the back.
“We preach that all the time: If you see something, pick up the phone. You’re not getting in trouble. We won’t think less of you.”
By speaking out, the worker might have prevented a significant incident. An outrigger had sunk on one side of the crane. If the crane operator had swung the load to the side with the faulty outrigger, a further failure could have caused the crane to tip over and lose its load.
McHugh offers an example of how a strong safety culture and open lines of communication empower workers to protect themselves and their colleagues. A consistent emphasis on safety is always important, but is even more so during periods when business is booming for many construction firms and many new workers are entering the fold.