A tower crane crashed onto the roof of apartment block in Vienna on Saturday after part of the slab it was sitting on broke away.
The crane’s back-mast and top counterweight crashed through the roof into the apartment below – the emergency services evacuated 18 people form the building and an adjoining block and thankfully no one was hurt in the incident. The crane was recovered and removed by late on Saturday allowing repairs to begin.
union members get 20% off tower crane licence
Awesome news, just found out that the folks at Construction Skills Training Australia are doing a 20% discount for all financial union members, good news is any union eg CFMEU, ETU, MUA its all good!
They already were good value for nationally recognised tower crane tickets at $1050 but are now even better!!! I have heard good things about CSTC, they provide 'world class equipment, facilities and training and are Australia's only training center with a tower crane (trust me this is awesome!)
The course is five days and they run about every month, minimum requirement is 3 months dogging experience and a dogging ticket
If you are thinking about doing your tower crane ticket but cannot get to CSTC make sure you ring around and pay the right price, trust me prices are negotiable. Dont get fooled into thinking that by paying 3 times more than something is worth you are getting something 3 times better! Doesnt work, unfortunately if you paid to much for your ticket you dont get a special gold one, just a lighter wallet.
I cannot understand how tower crane tickets are priced 10 times more than a forklift ticket, except that someone wants to buy a bigger boat.
St Germain en Laye, France
Two men died on Friday when a large tower crane collapsed during erection at a site in Paris suburb of St Germain en Laye, France.
According to local reports the two men were in the crane cab at the time when a load noise was heard and the crane jib and back mast went over backwards, causing the two men to fall around 20 meters. One man, 34, was killed immediately, while the other, 43, died from his injuries as he arrived at hospital.
Two others standing below were slightly injured in the incident while we have received a few photographs from the scene, they do not add a great deal to the police statement. Although it is clear that part of the tower below the slew bearing was badly damaged.
The crane was one of several units being installed on the site of a huge water treatment plant for the Paris area being built by Syndicat Intercommunal pour l’Assainissement de l’Agglomération Parisienne (Siaap)
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Firstly I will start with the purpose of the slew brake, which is to lock the cranes jib so it does not move out of position. This is important when performing lifts when there is wind about.
The slew brake also acts as a safety feature, activating when the crane is turned off, resets or power is lost. This prevents the tower crane and load from being moved about when the operator does not have control of the tower crane, very important because if there is a power failure without the slew brake the crane and load could collide with buildings, people, machinery or even power lines.
At the end of the workday or if work must be stopped in the day due to high winds the tower crane should be free slewed. This simply involves taking off the slew brake so that the tower crane is able to 'paravane' or 'weathervane' that is move freely in the wind on the full 360 degree radius, unrestricted by the slew brake.
The reason for putting the crane into free slew is mostly to prevent damage to the slew brakes, on non luffing tower cranes the wind will not "push the crane over" if it is not free slewed, but brakes will be damaged. On luffing tower cranes there is a danger that if not free slewed and jib at the correct radius (not luffed up too high) the jib can be pushed back and cause major structural damage
In the picture above we see a luffing tower crane at LendLease's New York development One57 the crane was luffed up too high and extreme winds from hurricane Sandy flipped the jib over. It has been suggested that the tower crane was not put into free slew, also contributing to this accident.
The slew brake is a pin that sits on top of the slew motor, when raised the brake is off, when lowered it is locked.Some tower cranes require the operator to manually wind out the slew brake, others automatically release the slew brake when the trolly is closest to the crane tower and others have a button that can be pressed to take off the slew brake.
It is easy to see if a tower crane has been put into free slew, generally a free slewed cranes counter jib points into the wind, the jib the direction the wind is traveling. If there is a group of tower cranes they will all point in the same direction. There are several reasons for a crane not to weathervane; first and foremost is the operator simply not initiating it, next would be electrical or mechanical issues, and most serious – a problem with the slew bearing.
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One of my most popular and most clicked on blog posts was '
Cheapest Price for Tower Crane Ticket"
In it I suggested people go interstate and save up to $2,000 to get their tower crane license. I did get some criticism that the training is far inferior interstate, a claim I laugh at.
I always get asked by people looking to get into the industry 'where is the best place to get my dogman and rigging ticket?' So I thought I would share that in this post, the answer for this is always the same... go to TAFE.
I say this firstly because the training there is quality, it is very much hands on, a mix of 50/50 class room theory split with hands on training, and with a good large facility. All of the trainers there I have come across are entertaining characters with decades of experience in the industry.
The second benefit is flexibility, you can do the course either full time (5 days training, 6th day assessment for each license) or part time (two nights a week for 6 weeks, daytime assessment) I prefer the idea of the part time course as the participants have a longer period to understand everything, one week is quite rushed.
Thirdly is the price, TAFE is government funded and their prices have pretty much stayed the same for the last decade, the private trainers well... I have seen the dogman training advertised for $2,000 and basic rigging for $2,500 Ouch!!! TAFE you can do each license for just $500, and its even cheaper if you are indigenous or receiving social security.
Fourth is convenience, I went to Annandale campus which is located near the Anzac bridge, Its about 15 mins travel time from central on the light rail. For those that dont live in Sydney ;) I have been told they also run the course at Wollongong, Orange, Newcastle and Campbelltown
For some reason the TAFE website does not always list when the course is running, the best way to find out when and where the course is on is to ring TAFE on one of these numbers
Lastly in the past some tickets were cancelled by WorkCover because of corrupt assessors, this has not happened in a long time but if it does happen again it wont happen at TAFE, they are above board. And just remember its not all fun and games once you become a dogman, it is a big responsibility and a serious job
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I came across this safety video on YouTube recently, it is easy to understand and covers a lot of ground regarding crane signals. It has been put together by 'The Associated General Contractors of America'. Keep in mind it is an American video and some signals are slightly different, however well worth a look, and helps to illustrate the importance of the dogman / signalsman and the relation with the crane operator.
If you would like a reminder of the Australian signals, they can be seen here on our earlier post.
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