October 2008 International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazine editor's comment

By Alex Dahm04 March 2009

Alex Dahm

Alex Dahm

Further major turmoil in the world economy, at least in the US and the UK financial sector, topped the news last month. Spectacular collapses and acquisitions of major financial institutions precipitated dramatic stock market falls. Strong rises soon followed amid promises of rescue and nationalisation. With such volatility it seems that anything could happen next. We will have to wait and see in terms of how it affects the wider economy and how China and Russia, in particular, might react.

As usual the huge financial costs incurred by such a small number of people will soon filter down and be passed on to tax-paying Joe Public. It is astounding that the ability to make such monumental errors, with such far reaching consequences, can be in the hands of such a small group of individuals and was allowed to go on unchecked. It seems that some checks and controls of some sort might be beneficial in helping prevent a recurrence.

Talking of monitoring and control, a similar view is becoming more widely held regarding the crane industry. This is, especially, in response to the tower crane accidents in the US this year where, in New York, nine people have died in two accidents. Calls are rife for tighter regulation of crane operations, especially when erecting, dismantling and raising the height of tower cranes.

The same applies to the other crane accidents that continue to occur. It is not just large cranes but also with small mobile cranes that tip over, most often because of improper outrigger placement or lack of support, or come into contact with overhead power lines. Something needs to be done because many of these accidents are widely considered to be avoidable.

Celebrating success in a selection of jobs is our annual TopLift contest. If you read this before 31 October you will still have time to register your vote, either by fax: +44 (0)1892 786257, or by e-mail: toplift@khl.com, including all the details as requested in the competition entry on page 54 of IC September. A digital copy of the entry form is available at: http://www.khl-group.com/E_CASTS/KHL/IC_0908/ic_sep_08.pdf
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