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Date PostedMay 28, 2013

Patients Escape Injury as Crane Crashes Into Hospital

Patients at a hospital in The UK narrowly escaped injury when a crane crashed through the wall of one of the hospital’s wards.

For more than a week after the crane crash work on the site of the West Cumberland Hospital had still not resumed and an investigation into the incident was launched.

The incident occurred when what was described as a “giant” crane hit into the wall of the hospital last week, causing one of the windows to break, it was a miracle that at the time of the crash, there were no staff or patients in the ward.

According to an article on www.timesandstar.co.uk this is what happened:

Work on the £90 million redevelopment of the West Cumberland Hospital in Whtiehaven is still halted more than a week after a crane crashed into the wall of a ward.

An investigation was launched after one of the three giant cranes hit the wall last Tuesday, causing a window to break.

Staff and patients had a lucky escape as the room where the window broke on Kirkstone ward was unoccupied. However, there were patients on the ward at the time, but they were “well away” from the incident and “not disturbed by it at all.”

Crane work was immediately halted at the hospital while an investigation took place while work continued elsewhere.

A hospital spokeswoman said that the hospital trust has been working closely with developers Laing O’Rourke since the incident and the investigation has now been completed.

She was unable to give any further information into the outcome of the findings, or to confirm when work would restart.

“There are just some further checks that need to be made after which we expect work on this part of the site to start again,” she added. “Work is continuing on the redevelopment elsewhere.”

Source: http://www.timesandstar.co.uk/work-still-not-restarted-after-crane-crash-at-cumbrian-hospital-1.1055059?referrerPath=home

Crane safety is a particularly serious issue because of the destruction that these large machines can cause, not only to buildings and property but to people. They are also more dangerous than a lot of other machinery because there are a vast number of things that can go wrong, from contact with overhead lines, loads falling, cranes colliding with people or buildings like in this case, fires breaking out and endangering the driver etc.

It goes without saying that training is one of the most important considerations of crane operation. You wouldn’t operate a plane if you didn’t have a pilot’s licence and training, so why attempt to operate machinery as dangerous as a crane without the necessary training and certification. Workers on site should also be trained about how to work in the presence in the cranes.

Also a daily inspection should be carried out before beginning work with cranes to ensure that it is working properly. Cranes should also be serviced and maintained regularly to ensure it operates without any hitches. This inspection doesn’t require a maintenance person, just a commonsense check list.


Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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