Terex has continued its bid to reduce injuries related to falls from height with an innovative system for lattice boom cranes.
The UK's Health and safety Executive (HSE) provides sobering statistics relating to fall from height injuries. It says falls continue to be the biggest cause of fatal injury in the UK's workplaces, with 34 of the 72 worker deaths in construction in 2007-2008 resulting from a fall from height. In addition, more than 4,000 major injuries, such as broken bones or fractured skulls, are reported to the HSE each year by the construction industry. Over half of these serious injuries involve falls from height or from tripping over materials on walkways and, it says, are easily preventable.
There is no doubt that falls from height are equally responsible for injuries and deaths in many other countries around the world and, in some states, the causality rates will be considerably higher. In many cases, however, there is no simple solution to preventing falls from height and considerable design and engineering goes into it.
One example comes from Terex Cranes, which has introduced an innovative fall protection device for lattice boom sections on the 600 tonne capacity CC 2800-1 crawler crane. The device will be available for all CC-range lattice boom cranes produced at the company's Zweibrücken, Germany facility in the near future.
It consists of two extendable or foldable arms connected by a pendant rope, which, in conjunction with a shock-absorbing vest harness, allows workers to connect themselves with the fall protection device while walking on the boom section during the main boom rigging process.
When properly employed, the fall protection device ensures sufficient ground clearance in case of a fall. "No other crawler crane manufacturer can offer a comparable safety device at the moment," says a company spokesman.
For transportation purposes, the fall protection system's arms can be easily retracted or folded and stowed on the main boom. The system is supplied in conjunction with other safety features, for example, wider walkways, new access ladders and new rope guides, says the manufacturer.
Terex says it is also developing a retrofit kit to accommodate older boom sections with the new device. The retrofit kit for the 600 tonne capacity CC 2800 and CC 2800-1 lattice boom crawler cranes, built before June 2010, will be available early in 2011.