25.02.2021

Dropped vessel

A large whey tank crashed onto a crane in the UK earlier this week when a lifting lug failed during a tandem lift.

The incident occurred at the mothballed Arla cheese plant in Llandyrnog, north Wales, which is currently being stripped out in preparation for sale. The cranes, a 55 tonne Liebherr LTM 1055 and 300 tonne Grove GMK 6300L-1, were rented in from local firm Bryn Thomas Crane Hire by a contract lift company on standard CPA crane hire terms. The 300 tonner was working as a 160 tonner, while the 55 was working as a 35 tonner, so plenty of margin for error. The road out front was closed for the truck to be loaded with the vessels - thus they were lifting over the front of the Grove.

The tank weighed around 12 tonnes, while the lifting lugs were new and had been welded to the top and bottom of the tank by a specialist company working for the ultimate client. Two spreader beams were used, with long leg chain sets so the rigging looks sound. The failure was caused by the tank wall or ‘skin’ ripping away under one of the lugs, causing its partner lug to fail as well. This resulted in one end of the tank to drop, striking the boom support frame on the front of the crane and landing on the engine cowl. Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident and the damage appears to be minor, although the crane will be sent to Manitowoc UK for inspection and repair.
The tank wall failed under the lifting lugs

Bryn Thomas has issued the following statement and hopes that the experience might prove helpful to others when lifting similar vessels: "On Tuesday 23rd February, two cranes supplied by Bryn Thomas Cranes were involved in an incident on site in north Wales. Whilst undertaking a general CPA hire for one of our clients, who were carrying out their own CPA contract lifting operation for their own customer, the skin of one of the tanks has seemingly failed causing the load to drop onto the side of our machine. The work on this site has been on-going for a number of months and various tanks have been removed from the site through numerous lifting operations by our client."

"The cranes involved in the incident have been withdrawn from service and will be both fully safety checked by their respective manufacturers and will only return to work when all external checks have been completed. Once further results have been provided by sites, as well as our own, incident reports, we will advise of any further information that could be of use for future operations."

The short video captures the moment:

Comments

o
FAO The CPA Crane Interest Group Members.

Good Morning Gentlemen,

Now that I have your attention again, may I suggest that you do your own calculations on Force, Mass & Gravity and then include them
in your statutory Risk Assessments and Method
Statements (RAMS) for Lifting Operations.

Thus avoiding yet more examples of the dropped load Incident number 600 depicted above. The reason being that my 14 yrs of Research confirms

609 x Incidents of Dropped Loads, Jibs or Booms.
29 x Wind Turbine Incidents worldwide and
452 x Incidents of Poor Outrigger Set-up.

All of which is not acceptable to you, me, nor to your Employers and Public Liability Insurance companies.

I await your invitation to the CPA Annual General Meeting during 2021, where I will present you with the results of my 14yrs of Research into 881 Lifting Incidents. All of which has Killed 635 Men, Women and Children since Monday morning the 7th May 2007.

Because Worker Safety is Important, very Important and much too Important to leave it to chance.

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby

Mar 8, 2021

Daveliftsitbetter!!
Morning all,
Mike i did ask before but you didn't share your thoughts. Please can you show your calculations for force you stated in your first post. I also agree with Stey, would have you come to any conclusion without drawings or engineering information. The crane company should do a in depth investigation and report back to lifting industry so lessons can be taken on board! So then we don't have comments from non lifting industry "experts" saying what they think went wrong with something they know nothing about, but will they?

Mar 4, 2021

LTD
Mr Ponsonby unfortunately you will never be a Peter Oram. I agree with Tmayes

Mar 3, 2021

Tmayes
FAO CPA crane interest group
Please do not invite Mike Ponsonby to any AGM, he does not represent any of us in the crane industry, instead if you want to invite somebody that has first hand experience at the coal face of the industry I would suggest that you invite somebody like a experienced crane operator, Lift supervisor or AP that’s actually been on site and worked within the crane industry, this way you will get a lot more information from the field and from people who make this industry safer daily, copy and pasting stuff and pretending to have knowledge of cranes has never helped anybody or saved lives.
Kind regards
From somebody in a crane daily.

Mar 3, 2021

o
FAO The CPA Crane Interest Group Members.

Good Morning Gentlemen,

Now that I have your attention, please invite me to your AGM During 2021. Where I will be pleased to share with you the results of my 14years of active research into the 861 lifting incidents worldwide including but not limited to the many
duplicated examples of......

598 x Incidents of Dropped Loads, Jibs or Booms.
29 x Wind Turbine Incidents.
447 x Incidents of Poor Outrigger Set-up.

All of which has killed 627 persons to date. I look forward to receipt of your invitation as my Database total of 861 x Crane related incidents is not acceptable to you, me nor to all of your
Employers Liability Insurance companies ?

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby

Mar 3, 2021

David Savage
It would be interesting to know the weight that the tailing crane was lifting at the time of the accident.
Someone, presumably the AP or engineer got it wrong or the lifting lugs were not of a sufficient specification bearing in mind the vessel thickness at that point.
The lugs should probably have been made in proper workshop conditions with curved backplates giving a much greater contact area to the vessel skin and consequently more continuous weld area around it.
All of this points to a lack of thought and planning by the “contract lift company”.
Why they were lifting over the front of the crane remains a mystery again down to the lift planners, the “contract lift company”.
A spreader beam may have helped and again the fact that one wasn’t used would have been the “contract lift company’s” decision. They hired two cranes at CPA rates and they would have got the big bucks for the job.
Happens every day until it goes wrong then it’s all the fault of the crane company or operator.

Mar 2, 2021

Stey
And just as a side note and not meaning to be seen as derogatory towards Mr Ponsonby, I would like to know, how he came by the conclusion that the lifting lugs were not designed to be lifted in the vertical to horizontal axis? Unless i have the design drawings in front of me, I would not be so presumptuous as to pass on an unqualified opinion. Yes, you may have a long list of incidents, but to conclude that a crane company who's only requirement in this case was to provide plant and operator services under CPA conditions is accountable for other people's failings is a little bit disrespectful. In this case, I would believe that your retraction of the statement below naming the director of said crane company that appears to be innocent of this incident, and maybe an apology, acknowledging that not everything is as black and white as people may think (or feel)

Mar 2, 2021

Stey
Ok, playing Devil's Advocate here. As the hire was under CPA conditions, would the slinging and planning of the lifting operation be the responsibility of the hirer? Also, I would presume that any pre lift inspections would be the responsibility again of the hirer? In the inspections, if there was any deterioration of the lifting lugs, would it not be the responsibility of the hirer to have an analysis carried our before operations take place? Too many people seem to be forgetting as to what is involved in a contract lifting operation, all of these considerations, as well as operation, are checked (hopefully) before the operation itself takes place. Easy to condemn a company for something going wrong, when they were only hired in to provide basic supply, when in all fairness it was down to the hiring company to carry out suitable inspection and planning

Mar 2, 2021

fozzy
Lots of expert advise on here i see. At least no one was hurt. I cant see why you would top a vessel over a crane cab tho.? Also i wondered why the operation was taking place over the fronts of cranes? Expect the unexpected and reduce the risk. What size shackles and hooks were used?

Mar 1, 2021

vertikal editor
OK that's enough please keep comments productive and directed at the subject and not the person. As the target of the most recent comment chooses to remain anonymous and therefore it cannot be construed as personal we will leave it in place. BUT any more such comment will be deleted, the comments suspended and the account suspended.
Lets maintain some dignity.

Mar 1, 2021

MikeLifting
@Brontosaurus,

I can only describe you as an vile Industry Internet Troll sitting behind a keyboard throwing out what dumb stupid comments you can whilst hiding any identity you have through a stupid front name. You must be so perfect to protect your real name in case this industry can check out who you really are by maybe talking to your employer "if not on the dole" to maybe comment on how everyone in this lifting industry should try look at you for a perfect role model. This industry needs less of people like you and the stupid comments you make.
Maybe you should rename yourself BrontotheTROLL you sad person you!

Mar 1, 2021

Tmayes
Welcome to the comments section where Mike ponsonby is having his own investigation and legal trial lol, as a educated guess Ponsonby is using the same calculator to do his workings out of the load as the same guy that did the calculations for the weldings of the lugs lol. Every time I see a comment on here from him a get the sudden urge to self harm.

Mar 1, 2021

Daveliftsitbetter!!
Morning all,
Please correct me if i am wrong but i see it as the lifting lugs failed! the crane didn't fail, the lifting accessories didn't fail!
But i interested in the second point Mike makes

2. The Diagonal Lift at the Non-Spreader Bar end of this Tank caused the Chains to apply an additional Diagonal Force to the side of the Lifting Lugs which I calculate was approximately 284 Kilonewtons per chain x two legs.

Mike please can you share your calculations with us?

Mar 1, 2021

LTD
@Brontosaurus.
You obviously have a dislike towards the Thomas family but this is not the media platform to publicise your personal dislike.

People use this comment section to give sound advice and comment on best practices going forward.

Please refrain from dragging the comments into the gutter.

Mar 1, 2021

Brontosaurus
The HSE investigation found the crane had not been properly maintained and the external alarm could not be heard by those working nearby. The override switches were also faulty, including the switch that prevented the crane lifting loads beyond its capacity.

Mar 1, 2021

Brontosaurus
The crane hire firm, Bryn Thomas Crane Hire Ltd, and the crane's operator, Frederick Scott, were also prosecuted for health and safety failings. They were sentenced at an earlier hearing at Liverpool Crown Court on 11 April 2011.
The company escaped punishment because it was in administration, even though the Thomas family bought the operational assets back again. The operator was fined £2,500.

HSE investigating inspector Sarah Wadham said: "It is tragic that Mr Thornton died because a series of health and safety warnings and procedures were ignored. The crane was simply not capable of lifting the steel column, when it was nearly 18 metres away, without it being overloaded.

"If the work had been properly planned, and the crane had been properly maintained, then Mr Thornton would still be alive today. It is vital construction companies learn from this case to prevent similar deaths in the future."

Mar 1, 2021

Brontosaurus
Bryn Thomas has a good name you must be joking

Mar 1, 2021

o
Good Morning Dylan,

The Root Cause of this Dropped Load incident depicted above was due to the Invisible effects of Physics. That is, this Whey Tank was subject to 2 x seperate forces being applied to the Welded-On Lifting Lugs at the Non-Spreader Bar end of this Tank.

1. The Mass of 12t requires an identical vertical force plus the additional force generated by the Hoist Winch to overcome the initial Gravitational Pull of the Tank to Earth.

plus the…..

2. The Diagonal Lift at the Non-Spreader Bar end of this Tank caused the Chains to apply an additional Diagonal Force to the side of the Lifting Lugs which I calculate was
approximately 284 Kilonewtons per chain x two legs.

Finally and in closing, this Dropped Load incident is number 597 in my 14yr database
of Research into 860 lifting Incidents Worldwide since 070507. All of which has killed
627 Men, Women and Children to date.

Thus confirming that Worker Safety is important, very important and much too important
to leave Safety to chance ?

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby

Mar 1, 2021

Crane expert
Lucky nobody was hurt and at least cranes are repairable, but it’s nice to know who this accident happened to and that it’s a wake up call for them to sort themselves out as the Welsh guy who owns it has zero idea about cranes. Shame Bryn Thomas name was on the cranes they are a reputable company.

Feb 28, 2021

Brontosaurus
Karma

Feb 28, 2021

STIFLER
I’ve got a feeling the second spreader beam must have been left on the pickup

Feb 27, 2021
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