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The Importance of


                                     Asking “Why?”



                                                    by Katie Mackey
                               A cornerstone of any safety program
                             should ask “Why?” when issues occur.




                 e do not live in a perfect world.
                 You can plan, educate and
         Wprepare for the worst and just
         hope for the best. In fact many would
         probably say, those companies who
         work on continuous improvements are
         not only better equipped to deal with
         circumstances when they arise but they
         have fewer accidents, incidents and
         near misses than companies who do not.
           Regardless of where  your  organiza-
         tion falls in the safety spectrum of “to-
         tally unprepared” to “we’re  ready for
         anything”, there is one very important
         lesson that you can always remember
         when  something  goes  wrong  or  some-
         one notices a potential issue. That key
         point is to ask “Why?”
           It is a three-letter word that many
         times gets overlooked,  in  the  rush  to
         clean  up  or  get back  to  work.  But  it
         can reveal areas that may only require
         a  simple  fix  to  keep  something  from
         happening again. The following three   According to the image in the service manual (inset) there should be no rope guard above
         examples show how the significance of   radius line (marked in red). All photos courtesy of Crane Tech LLC
         asking “Why?” and how truly investi-  paired to a serviceable state, reeved to   but unfortunately two individuals and
         gating the “Why?” made the difference   the same 4-part configuration as when   their families paid the ultimate price.
         in the future of these operations.  the accident occurred. Then a test was   Accidents  like  this  should  be  a  re-
         An Accident                        performed that involved painting a   minder that it is NEVER permis-
           Two mobile cranes were working on   section of the replaced wire rope, and   sible to modify the crane in ANY way
         setting a bridge girder when the wire   using masking tape  around the rope   without  express  written  consent  and
         rope of one of the cranes snapped caus-  guard and testing to see  if there  was   documentation from the crane manu-
         ing the beam to fall on a nearby aerial   contact at various  boom angles.  Once   facturer. Likewise if a part needs to
         lift, fatally injuring the two workers in   the  boom  was  raised it  was  clear  the   be  replaced,  it  is  key  to  use  OEM-
         the basket. Since there were fatalities,   wire rope was making contact with the   specified parts. After this accident the
         an  OSHA  investigation  was  launched   rope guard and as the crane was raised   crane owner was able to replace the
         to ask the “Why?”                  to the approximate position on the day              continued on page 10
           Inspection of the wire rope showed   of the accident, the contact remained.
         some wear and minor flattening, but the   This indeed seemed to be the source   Accident is defined as an unplanned
         damage noted did not appear to be sig-  of how the wire rope was cut, but why   event  that results in personal injury
         nificant enough to cause a failure of the   was there rubbing/wear at all?   or property damage.
         wire rope. However at the cut ends of the   This  called for closer  inspection  of
         wire rope it appeared that one strand   the boom tip and a comparison to the   Incident is an unplanned event that
         was cut and pushed back, as if the wire   manufacturer’s service manual, which   does not result in personal injury but
         rope had made significant contact with   noted  a  significant  difference  in  the   may result in property damage or is
         an obstruction prior to the complete fail-  construction  of the rope guard versus   worthy of recording.
         ure of the remaining strands.      the diagram in the manual. It was ap-
           Upon  observing  the boom tip,  it   parent that at some point in the crane’s   Near Miss is an event that does not
         looked  like  the  wire  rope  may have   history,  the guard had either been   result in an injury or damage. It is im-
         come  in  contact  with  the  rope guard   modified from its’ original state or had   portant to record and investigate near-
         as  there  was  significant  wear  on  the   been replaced with an non-OEM part.   misses to identify concerns that could
         guard. To determine if this was indeed   It could be said, that the crane owner   possibly lead to an injury or damage.
         what happened, the crane  was re-  had just  been lucky  until  this  point,

         8      Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   June 2017
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