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Safety Alert: Mobile Crane Operator Seriously Injured On Woodyard

A mobile crane was traveling through a mill’s woodyard with the boom in the raised position, rather than in the fully lowered position. This was a recipe for disaster.

By Staff
Date Posted: 4/1/2012


        On a fall day in the Eastern U.S., a mobile crane was traveling through a mill’s woodyard.


Personal Characteristics:

        The mobile crane operator was in his mid 40s and had worked in mill maintenance for about ten years.


Unsafe Act and Condition:

        The crane was traveling with the boom in the raised position, rather than in the fully lowered position. The crane passed underneath a run of conduit, piping, and lines. The operator failed to notice that the boom was not lowered enough to clear the piping.



        The raised boom came in contact with a sawdust blow line. The blow line piping separated at a heavy, ceramic-lined elbow, which quickly rotated downward and penetrated the crane cab’s side window, struck the operator, and exited through the windshield.



        The crane operator suffered head, neck, and shoulder lacerations, along with severe hand injuries that required multiple surgical treatments.


Recommendations for Correction:

    • The boom and hook of a mobile crane should be returned to the stored/resting position prior to beginning travel from one spot to another.

    • Ensure that all employees are aware that violating mobile crane boom securement policies creates an unstable and potentially life-threatening condition.

    • Follow equipment inspection and operation procedures consistently and accurately.

    • Re-evaluate equipment and work practices periodically, and conduct periodic refresher safety training classes.

        Source: Forest Resources Association



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