Database of Crane Repairs and Inspections Could Mean Safer Jobsites
July 10, 2009
For many people involved in the construction industry it's tough
to forget the numerous crane-related accidents that occurred in
2008. Numerous people were killed and injured March 15, 2008, when
a crane collapsed on Manhattan's East Side (CLICK
HERE for related article). Just two months later another crane
collapsed in New York City, killing two people and damaging an apartment
building on Manhattan's Upper East Sideonly a day after city
officials had investigated the crane's operations (CLICK
HERE for related article). In addition to the New York crane
accidents, a crane plummeted 30 floors into a Miami home, killing
two people in March of 2008 (CLICK
HERE for related article).
A new resourse was launched recently that could help avoid crane-related
tragedies. Frank Bardonaro, president and chief operating officer
of Philadelphia-based AmQuip Crane Rental, and Tower Crane Safety
chairman for the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, has
developed CraneFacts.com, the nation's first database for tracking
major crane components. The site, which is available to anyone in
the world, is designed to provide crane rental companies, contractors
and subcontractors, government organizations, OEM's and other organizations
with a complete history of any crane that is listed on the site.
Each registered crane rental company will be able to log in and
register whichever cranes they would like to make available to their
clients and others. The serial number based system will enable the
company to immediately post the entire maintenance history of the
crane as well as all inspections pertaining to the particular machine.
The site will establish certain criteria to be used in order to
determine a "reportable and major" repair that will allow
tracking of critical components. The new site will also provide
data to track all types of cranes, not just tower cranes.
"Safety has always been the most important issue in the crane
rental industry," says Bardonaro. "As most people know,
the crane and rigging companies all over the world continuously
strive for safety improvements with a zero incident and zero injury
While several politicians have tried to implement new regulations
on a local level, the industry is working feverishly on a daily
basis to help develop standardized safety processes that are consistent
throughout the country. If the CraneFacts.com site is successful
in helping to develop these tracking and standardized reporting
processes, then I feel we will have accomplished something that
helps everyone associated with the industry and provides the public
with a greater sense of security when cranes are working in and
around their towns," stated Bardonaro.
The site, which will ultimately enable all crane users to instantly
comply with any state or city reporting requirement, could also
be useful for contractors and subcontractors, as well as other end
users. It will allow, for example, contract glaziers to instantly
get a history of the crane being delivered to their jobsite to ensure
that the crane has been properly maintained throughout its useful
life. It will provide information for used crane sales and also
establish reporting procedures that could help further deveop the
crane rental industry.
Bill McDevitt, the administrator of the International Union of
Painters and Allied Trades Labor Management Cooperation Initiave,
says he thinks the new website will be a great benefit for the contract
"The site gives you first-hand information about the job and
it will be a great tool to see where the crane has been used and
how well it was maintained so it can help decrease the chances of
an accident occurring," says McDevitt. "When you have
a safe jobsite, especially when you are loading glass crates up
several stories, you want to know that the crane is [safe] to operate."
McDevitt adds, "This can also help the glass companies grow
their bottom lines because when they are on a job without accidents,
it makes them more competitive on the next job site."
HERE to read a related USGNN.com crane safety article.
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.