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The Top Five Major Crane Failures of 2016

When you work in construction, you always hear stories about machine failure on the job site, whether it was bad design by the architect, poor material quality or a completely unintended consequence over what would usually be an everyday task. Below are five serious crane failures for 2016. Unfortunately, some of them ended with tragedy. We hope this post will motivate you, and your crew, to take caution and use appropriate steps in every facet of your construction project.

1. At least it went down in the street . . . Lower Manhattan

In this deadly crane failure, it's a good thing it was lined up down the street as it fell or the damage and casualty toll would have been a lot worse. In this capture of a live crane failure in lower Manhattan, the crane falls almost perfectly down the street as it fails, but still kills one and injures three as the 565' boom falls to the ground while crews were trying to secure it in 20-25 MPH winds. Over 30 trucks and 100 firefighters responded to the scene.

2. "You set everything all the way back down, right?" Oklahoma City

When this boom lift was hauled in one direction, it fit with no problem, so the driver assumed that it would fit while traveling in the opposite direction. Though the delivery should have easily fit under the 14'4" clearance, it caught the overpass, ripping out the bottom of the May Avenue Bridge and causing a serious structural collapse of the Northwest Expressway. The driver initially claimed to have lowered the boom before leaving the job site, but eyewitnesses stated that the boom had not been fully lowered before leaving the site.

3. There goes the price of gas . . . Torrance

This truly epic crane fail involved a 270 ton lattice crane at a Torrance, California Exxon Mobil refinery. While lifting or preparing to lift a 100,000 barrel per day catalytic cracking unit used in refining oil, the six-axle crane tipped over, dropping the boom on the refinery. The damage shut the refinery down for 15 full days and put a good bump into the sale process that the refinery was undergoing at the time.

4. Were they Tappen the bridge a little too hard? Hudson River

When the Tappen Zee Bridge over the Hudson River north of New York City was undergoing construction, specifically driving piles into the bedrock beneath the riverbed this summer, a failure caused the boom to crash down across several lanes of traffic. The real miracle in this story? Only four people were injured and only one vehicle was actually struck by the boom as it fell.

5. But the good old U.S.A. has nothing on some of these international fails!

Words just fall short

By taking a few minutes to make a pre-work inspection of your equipment, you can ensure that your work will go safely and without any embarrassing failure videos showing up on the internet. If you need help getting the right safety equipment and tools on your job site, please feel free to contact the experienced associates at Wallboard Supply Company. We're always happy to help you keep your work site and construction business functioning safely. Be sure to download our Hoisting and Rigging guide below. It could help prevent accidents on your next job site.

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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.