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Mines Safety Significant Incident Report No. 154

Heavy wire lifting slings fell from crane hook � employees injured

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A crawler-type crane rated at 450 tonnes safe working load (SWL) was being used to position a 1 tonne head chute cover on a conveyor located 45 m above ground level. The crane operator did not have a clear view of the hook or load, and was being directed by a rigger at the conveyor head end. Two fitters and three trade assistants were working in the vicinity of the lift.

The crane was configured with two heavy duty 5 m x 63 mm wire rope slings (each weighing 278 kg) suspended from the crane hook, and the load was being slung with two-leg chains shackled to one of the wire rope slings.

After a second adjusting lift successfully positioned the load, the rigger directed the crane driver to slowly lower the hook to allow removal of the lifting chains. An instruction from the rigger to stop lowering was not heard by the crane operator. As the crane hook descended, ferrules swaged on the “dead ends” of the rope slings fouled against structural steelwork, causing the eyes of the two slings to push upwards in the hook and against the hook safety catch.

With slack rope accumulating, the hook block (weighing some 3 tonnes) started to “fall over”, causing both slings to burst through the safety catch and fall among the work party below. Five employees suffered a range of fractures, lacerations and contusions.


Department of Mines and Petroleum

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Relates to Western Australia (WA)

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PDF Document

Western Australia




Government of Western Australia


7 Jul 2009

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