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    CONTRACTOR AND SUPPLIER PILING RIG SAFETY ALERTS

    Collapsed piling rig prompts safety alerts to spell out preventive lessons

    A piling rig working on a Heathrow airport project became unstable and collapsed whilst manoeuvring between pile locations. The rig was slewing through 180degrees, the leader of the rig continued to incline backward until the point at which the rig became unstable.

    It collapsed backwards to the ground coming to rest on its counterweight, (see photograph). No persons were injured and emergency measures were swiftly brought in to action.

    Both Skanska Cementation and Soilmec Ltd have each issued details of the investigation/inspection, root causes and recommendations in two Safety Alerts. The aim is to raise awareness of the preventive lessons.

    Skanska Cementation recommend:

    • Install a system/ device / switch to the backward inclination of mast – to operate before the manufacturers max angle to operate regardless of malfunction or operator action. (Review this requirement with respect to all rigs).
    • Provide an audible warning and increased visual warning signs within the cab, warning of the critical angle being approached / reached.
    • Review / revise training schedules to provide more detail on safety critical items, including – (a) recognition of abnormal conditions and preventative / corrective actions i.e. failure mode exercises and (b) function and operation of emergency stop controls

    Soilmec Ltd recommend:

    • Operators should be trained and conversed to the safe operation of the machine as per the operation manual.
    • The operation manual as supplied with the machine should be within the machine cab at all times to be referred to if and when required.
    • All safety cut out systems should be checked on a daily basis ensuring safe operation. These features are designed to ensure safe operation of the machine and should not be tampered with or modified in anyway.

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