We have all heard the phrase “accidents happen”. This might be true some of the time, but, more often than not, accidents can be prevented by foresight and planning.
A recent case illustrates this point. A company was using four cranes to move a 1,200-ton load. While it was being moved, the load slipped, sending the boom of one crane into the cab of another. The operator of the crane struck, was pinned in for more than two hours. Unfortunately once freed, the employee bled to death on the way to the hospital.
The trial evidence showed that the crane operator’s death was the product of a series of preventable mistakes. The ground over which the cranes were driving was muddy, causing them to slip. The company did not hire a professional to do a lift plan (relying instead on an inexperienced employee), nor did it remove obstructions in the cranes’ paths. Since the obstructions were not removed, the cranes had to change the angles of their booms.
The employee who did the calculations did not even know that changing the booms’ angles would alter the individual loads that the cranes could carry. As a result, the cranes had to bear more than their capacities. The evidence also showed that the company “lost” a video that had been taken of the incident. Taking in to account all of these mistakes caused the crane operator’s death. The death cost a family its husband and father, and the company $11 million. A little planning and common sense could have prevented all of this.