Crane Accidents

Second Crane Topples Over in Sydney Street

11/6/03

Australia 

Second Crane Topples Over in Sydney StreetA 50-tonne crane toppled over in a Sydney street today – the second accident of its kind in less than a week – and a union chief said it was “pure chance” that no-one was killed.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union organiser Phil Davey said the crane had fallen across four lanes of roadway on the corners of George and Charles streets at Parramatta, in Sydney’s west.

No-one was injured in the incident, Mr Davey said.

Today’s crane collapse follows a similar accident on Monday, when a 200-tonne crane toppled into Sydney Harbour following the failure of its base locking mechanism.

Mr Davey said in today’s incident, the 50-tonne mobile crane keeled over into the street shortly after 10am.

He said it was “pure chance that pedestrians or other members of the public weren’t killed”.

It was too early to determine the cause of the crane collapse, but the operator had managed to “wriggle free” and escaped without injury.

“The union will be conducting its own investigation in conjunction with Workcover but it certainly speaks to the need for stronger (worker safety) laws from the state government,” Mr Davey told ABC radio.

“These accidents are happening way too often and the laws need to be toughened so that building workers can go to work with some confidence that they won’t be involved in some terrible mishap and that they’ll be able to get home to their families at the end of the day.”

In Monday’s accident, operator Craig Smith, 46, received serious chest and leg injuries when he fell four metres from the crane’s cabin to the ground.

“From the union’s point of view it’s happening way too much,” Mr Davey said.

“Four accidents yesterday – four injured building workers yesterday – and two major mobile crane accidents now this week.

“Obviously we’d reiterate our calls to the state government to get serious about workplace safety in NSW.

“We need zero tolerance in the building industry.

“I think the focus needs to be on stopping this stuff from continuing to happen.”

Category: Accident Report

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