Proper dismantling sequences not followed, making the crane vulnerable to wind gusts!

Crane Incidents Underscore Need for Better Training

By Ann Rudd Hickman, Editorial Director, International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI)

Two recent high-profile incidents involving tower cranes have resulted in a total of five fatalities. In April, a crane collapsed in downtown Seattle during the dismantling process, killing two construction workers and two people occupying cars on the streets below. Four more people sustained nonfatal injuries. On June 9th, a tower crane in Dallas fell into an apartment building during a storm, killing one, injuring five, and permanently displacing hundreds of residents.

Interestingly, in both of these incidents, the crane was not in use when the collapse occurred. In the Seattle collapse, which is still under investigation, initial observations suggest that the proper dismantling sequences may not have been followed, making the crane vulnerable to wind gusts. At this point, it’s unclear what caused the Dallas crane to succumb to winds that, while undoubtedly strong, were reportedly well below the crane’s wind speed tolerance.

Clearly, there is progress to be made in ensuring the safety of crane operators, ground crews, and the general public where cranes are located. An IRMI subsidiary recently launched a virtual reality signal person training course to train workers on the ground on how to communicate effectively with crane operators. Find links to Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules for construction cranes and derricks, as well as the new operator certification requirements, on the IRMI Construction Risk Management Dashboard.

Crane safety is one of over 30 topics to be addressed at the IRMI Construction Risk Conference November 10–13, 2019, in Seattle. Mark these dates on your calendar and be part of the solution by expanding your knowledge of construction risks and staying current on solutions that are available to manage them. Registration opens in July.

About the IRMI Construction Risk Conference (CRC)

The IRMI Construction Risk Conference (CRC) brings over 2,000 leading project owners, general contractors, subcontractors, developers, insurers, and insurance agents and brokers together. There is no better forum to learn the latest construction risk management and insurance trends, strategies, and tactics as well as network with leaders in the industry.


About the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI)

Since 1978, IRMI has helped risk and insurance professionals make wise decisions; that is why the owl is in our logo. We achieve our mission through the vast online IRMI KnowledgeBase, continuing education, conferences, and webinars, plus a vibrant online community of dedicated risk and insurance professionals.


About WeatherBuild®

Headquartered in Cambridge, MA between Harvard and MIT, WeatherBuild® offers a suite of decision support solutions that empower contractors, owners and operators to improve situational awareness and make better-informed decisions about weather events, schedule impacts, safety risks and probable outcomes.

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