06.12.2019

Breaker lift

Spotted in South Northamptonshire, UK a contractor dismantling a steel frame building without lifting equipment.

The team have clearly – and logically – decided to remove the roof trusses in one piece by unbolting them from the vertical beams. But rather than organise any lifting equipment, or even a decent set of slings, they decided to make do with what they had.

Using the mini excavator with hydraulic breaker installed which was on site for regular demolition work, they placed the breaker's tool in the apex of the truss and proceeded to remove the truss retaining bolts, in order to reach the bolts they stood on the single skin wall, which is around a metre and half high.
The lift is prepared breaker in place, men on the wall


The final bolts were hammered out, and as might be expected the truss was not in balance and pivoted wildly in one direction, thankfully missing one of the men by a narrow margin, otherwise he would not only have been struck, but might also have fallen off the wall.
perhaps not the best application for the breaker tool


We understand that thanks to a quick reaction on the part of the excavator operator the truss was lowered to the ground before completely spinning further and slipping off the tine.
fast response from the operator helped prevent the truss falling


It is understandable – to a degree – that given there were only four or five relatively small, lightweight trusses, and that no lifting gear was immediately available, that the excavator was brought into service. However it would have been a good deal safer if they had used a decent rope or web sling from the excavator arm to the truss. It looks as though they tried a chain but given up.

They were lucky, in that this seemingly simple act of 'getting by' without the right equipment, could very easily have proved fatal, causing a major impact - not only for those on site but dozens of others, including family members, other company employees and the property owner.

Whatever happened to planning such work in advance?
Have a safe weekend

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