US Department of Labor urges employers to enhance workplace safety measures, protect workers from crane hazards following fatality in Guam
DEDEDO, GUAM – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is urging employers in Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands to enhance safety measures to protect workers against crane hazards following a Nov. 25, 2022 crane-related death at the Port Authority of Guam. The incident is currently under investigation.
The most common crane hazards leading to serious injuries and fatalities include crane tip-overs, being struck by a crane, electrocutions, being caught in between a crane and other equipment or objects, falls from the equipment and unqualified operators.
In workplaces where cranes are operating, OSHA recommends the following safety measures:
- Use your experience, knowledge and training to assess risks and follow crane procedures.
- Do not operate a crane or hoist that is damaged or has any actual or suspected mechanical or electrical malfunction.
- Do not attempt to lengthen wire rope or repair damaged wire rope.
- Do not use the wire rope, any part of the crane, hoist, or the load block and hook as a ground for welding.
- Do not allow a welding electrode to touch the wire rope.
- Do not remove or obscure any warning labels on the crane or hoist.
- Do not walk under a suspended load or allow anyone to walk under a suspended load.
- Do not perform or allow anyone to perform any work on a suspended load that requires a worker to be positioned under the suspended load
- Always use personal protective equipment, such as gloves, hard hats, hearing, foot and eye protection.
“Injuries and fatalities related to crane operations are preventable with adequate workplace training and proper attention to safety controls,” said OSHA Area Director Roger Forstner in Honolulu. “Employers need to take all necessary steps to reduce incidents involving crane operations and improve the workplace safety where cranes are in use.”
As part of this crane safety initiative, OSHA compliance officers will conduct inspections at ports, construction sites and other locations where cranes are in use. The agency will also conduct outreach activities, on-site consultations and promote partnerships and alliances to improve compliance and prevent injuries and fatalities.
In 2021, 5,190 workers suffered fatal work injuries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its 2021 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report.