Crane was set up next to 60KV line within legal operating distance (confirmed by measurements.) Load that was to be picked (concrete pads) was set directly under lines. Ironically the person who placed the material to be picked was himself a crane operator, operating a loader or forklift on that day.
Accident occurred when electricity “arched” from power lines to main hoist line just as the rigger attempted to rig the load. Foreman standing next to him just missed grabbing 4 way energized chokers by a fraction of a second.
It appears the crane took a good portion of the electrical load as a tire blew on the crane. Sadly, it appears the rigger ( age 20’s-30’s) may loose a foot.
No physical contact was made with the lines, however the accident occurred at 4 P.M. and there was very high humidity at the time. The arcing between the lines and point sheave of the crane (Hydraulic Link-Belt) was a witnessed event. Additionally it appears the power lines may have sagged due to afternoon current load, from the original elevation they were at in the morning.
The accident was 100 percent preventable. Power company later confirmed that the lines could have been de-enegized, had a phone call been placed to the Utility for a scheduled outage.
Category: Accident Report