Canada Officials on a Blitz for Tower and Crane Safety


Tower & Mobile Crane Safety Focus of Blitz
Safety of tower and mobile cranes is the focus of a blitz in July and August for officials with Safe at Work Ontario (Canada).
According to the Ministry of Labour, a team of more than 25 of its inspectors are visiting construction sites that use tower and mobile cranes. The inspectors have received special training and will climb each tower crane that they inspect. They will check for compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. They will focus on hazards that could endanger the health and safety of workers. Enforcement action, as appropriate, will be taken for any violations of the act and its regulations. [WCx]
Definition of Tower Crane
Under the Regulations for Construction Projects, a tower crane is a defined as a mechanical device or structure that is of the travelling, fixed or climbing type and that has a:
1.    boom, jib or both
2.    power-driven drum and wire rope to raise, lower or move material and
3.    vertical mast.
Used to erect high rise buildings, a tower crane can hoist and move material at great heights on construction sites.
Definition of Mobile Crane
A mobile crane is a mechanical device or structure that incorporates a boom that is
1.    capable of moving in the vertical and horizontal plane
2.    capable of raising, lowering or moving a load suspended from the boom by a hook or rope and
3.    mounted on a mobile base or chassis.
These cranes are designed to be easily transported to a site and used with different types of cargo and loads.
Crane Hazards
Hazards involving tower and mobile cranes can lead to catastrophic events. For example, if a poorly maintained tower crane collapses, workers on the construction site could be injured or killed. Even the public can be affected if a tower crane falls or drops a heavy load.
All cranes are:
     getting older
     exposed to the elements and weather extremes and
     subject to heavy use for extended periods making them prone to stress, fatigue and breakdown.
There have been a number of incidents involving serious injuries to workers, as well as some close calls, involving cranes in the past few years.
Between 2007 and 2011, one worker died and seven workers were seriously injured in incidents involving a tower crane or mobile crane at construction sites across Ontario, according to Ministry of Labour reports.
Injuries and Close Calls
Of the injury incidents, four were related to tower cranes and three were related to mobile cranes.
The injuries resulted from incidents such as a:
     tower crane striking scaffolding that caused a worker to fall
     worker being struck by a piece of material that was being hoisted 
     worker being pinned under a load that was being lowered to the ground [WCx]
Close calls (in which no one was injured) involved a:
     tower crane breaking into two
     tower crane tipping over
     Rigging failure
     uncontrolled descent of material that landed in a busy traffic intersection
Blitz Priorities
Inspectors are focusing on the following key priorities:
     Safe access and fall prevention:  Inspectors will check for the required presence and adequacy of access ladder and guard rails or other access equipment. They will also check for required fall arrest equipment to protect workers who may fall from tower cranes.
     Proximity to overhead energized power lines: inspectors will check if the operator maintains the minimum distance of approach from overhead energized power lines, if the voltage of such power lines has been identified and if a procedure is in place to maintain the minimum distance of the crane or its load from the overhead power lines.
     Tower crane maintenance and other records: Inspectors will check for records on the condition of the tower crane, before and after erection, including a professional engineer’s design drawings for tower crane installation. Inspectors will check that tower cranes were properly inspected prior to first use, and regularly inspected and maintained afterwards. Inspectors will also review log book entries to ensure operational functions, such as limit and overload limit switches, were properly tested.
     Mobile crane maintenance and other records: Inspectors will check for records such as the operator log book and operator manual. Inspectors will check that cranes were inspected and maintained as required.
     Training: Inspectors will check that mobile crane operators are certified to operate a crane at a construction site or are being instructed in crane operation and accompanied by a person who has the required certification.
     Various other issues:  Inspectors will check on the structural, mechanical and foundational integrity of cranes, safety system, setup, proximity to people and safe hoisting practices.



Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Contact







Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.


©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at:

British Manufacturer Fined When Truck Falls on Worker

A Nottingham, Great Britain cleaning products manufacturer has been fined after an employee was seriously injured when a powered industrial truck used to lift and transport materials toppled and fell on him.
According to information from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the worker, who has asked not to be named, suffered a fractured cheekbone, multiple skull injuries and long term-impaired vision after the incident, which happened when he was helping load a lorry using a semi-electric stacker truck. The truck was pulled over a curb and fell onto the employee.(WCxKit)
His employer, Revelholme Marketing, Ltd., (trading as Unic International), was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation.
The company, of Colwick Road, Nottingham, which makes solvent degreasers and cleaning products, was found guilty of breaching regulation 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 at a three-day trial. They were fined £5,000 ($8,100) and ordered to pay costs of £18,000 ($29,000).
The Nottingham Magistrates' Court heard that after the incident, Jan. 23, 2009, the employee was hospitalized for 10 days and was off work for almost three months. Although he has returned to work, the man still suffers from the after-affects of his injuries.(WCxKit)

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See for more information. Contact:

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

14 Safety Rules to Better Manufacturing Facility Safety

Manufacturing SafetyFactories are often thought of as dangerous places to work. But, that is wrong if the factory has a proper safety program in place. The creation of a safety program for a factory is not much more difficult that creating a safety program for any other type of business.



The success of any safety program relies on the emphasis safety is given within the company. A company culture of safety that originates with the senior management of the company, with the safety culture being promoted all the way down through the ranks of the company, will have a major impact on the safety record of a factory. (WCxKit)



14 Manufacturing Safety Guidelines


The safety guidelines for factories are similar to the safety guidelines in many other industries. Key factory safety guidelines include:


  1. All employees will wear all required safety gear, safety glasses, and safety clothing for their job/position while at their workstation.
  2. All employees working around moving machinery are prohibited from wearing loose clothing or loose jewelry.
  3. All employees working around moving machinery must have long hair tied back where it can not fall forward or be caught in the machinery.
  4. All tools will be in use or will be stored at their proper location at all times, no tools are to be left in any location where they are not being used or being stored.
  5. All equipment, tools and machinery are to be kept clean and in full working condition, with any defects being immediately reported to maintenance.
  6. The instruction manuals for all machinery must be readily available for review.
  7. All equipment and machinery is to be shut down when not in use.
  8. All presses and machinery will require two hand operation to keep fingers and hands away from moving part.
  9. All machinery is to have the manufacturer’s installed safety guards.
  10. No machinery is to be modified by any employee who is not specifically trained in the technical aspects of the machinery.
  11. All work areas are to be kept properly lit when anyone is working.
  12. All work areas are to be kept properly ventilated.
  13. All areas of the factory are be kept clean and organized.
  14. Anyone working in the factory under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be immediately terminated.


The safety officer for the factory should require every job to have a job hazards analysis with each employee performing that job being trained in recognizing the hazards to which they can be exposed and being trained on how they can safely eliminate or reduce those hazards. Each job should have a safety checklist with the employee being able to obtain a 100% grade on test questions about the requirements of their safety checklist.



Any Identified Hazards Should be Immediately Addressed and Corrected


All employees conducting work that requires specific OSHA training must be required to complete the OSHA training before they can start work in the factory.



The factory safety officer should perform frequent factory inspections to identify any hazards the employees might have missed. Any identified hazards should be immediately addressed and corrected. The safety officer should also hold regular scheduled safety training classes as well as requiring safety classes for all new hires before they can do any work in the factory.



Fire drills and other emergency evacuation drills should be conducted to ensure all employees know how to quickly and safely leave the building. As a part of all emergency drills, the employees need to know whether to shut down their machinery or to leave it running when they evacuate the building. As a part of the fire and emergency evacuation drills, all employees need to know where the fire extinguishers, fire hoses and other emergency equipment is located, and how to use the equipment in an emergency. (WCxKit)



Strong Safety Program Will Significantly Reduce Injuries and Costs


The establishment of a strong safety program within the employer’s factory will result in a significant reduction in the number of workers compensation claims and their resulting cost. If you need any assistance in establishing your factory’s safety program, our website has extensive information about building a safety program.




Rebecca ShaferAuthor Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See for more information. or 860-553-6604.


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.


©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact


Jury Says Former North Dakota Executive Not Dismissed As Whistleblower

A North Dakota jury has found that a former Workforce Safety and Insurance executive was not dismissed for acting as a whistleblower.
According to the Bismark Tribune, a nine-person jury recently ruled that James Long was not entitled to back pay or other damages for his firing from the North Dakota agency where he was employed as chief of support services. (WCxKit)
Long filed a lawsuit in September 2008 against the state of North Dakota, WSI and several officials who were part of the agency, alleging he was terminated in violation of the state’s whistleblower protection law. The list of defendants eventually was dropped down to just the state and WSI.
Allegations claim Long was fired on March 12, 2008 — after being suspended with pay since Nov. 15, 2007 — for cooperating with investigators in a felony criminal case against Sandy Blunt, WSI’s former director, and Romi Leingang, the former director of the agency’s investigations unit.
In turn, Long filed for whistleblower protection with the attorney general’s office on Oct. 19, 2007. He reported four perceived violations in the protection request: Misuse of sick leave, salary increase, nepotism and deliberate circumvention of open records law. He also reported an alleged conspiracy to oust Burleigh County State’s Attorney Richard Riha.
The Whistleblower Act, or the Public Employees Relations Act, basically protects employees of a state agency from retaliation for reporting what they perceive is illegal or a misuse of public resources.
Reports are required to be made in writing to the employee’s respective agency head, a state’s attorney, the attorney general or an employee organization, according to the North Dakota Century Code.
The charge against Leingang was dismissed, as was one charge against Blunt, who was convicted of one felony, for misspending more than $10,000 of the agency’s money.
He was sentenced to two years’ probation and 1,000 hours of community service, and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and $775 in fees and court costs.
Long, Kay Grinsteinner, the agency’s former internal auditor, Todd Flanagan, a former fraud investigator, Billi Peltz, former human resources director, and Jodi Bjornson, legal counsel for the agency, filed for whistleblower protection as part of the investigations at the agency.


Long, Grinsteinner, Flanagan and Peltz were dismissed from the agency, and Long, Grinsteinner and Flanagan sued for damages.
Grinsteinner and Flanagan settled their lawsuits for $10,000 each. Peltz did not file a lawsuit, and Bjornson is still employed at WSI. (WCxKit)


According to the verdict form, the jury claimed Long had not proven he acted as a whistleblower, and the jury did not have to go any further into decisions as to if he was fired for acting as a whistleblower.


Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

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