Different equipment means new training’s required

by on October 22, 2013 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

When an equipment operator has experience and training that’s similar to a new piece of equipment he’s asked to operator, there’s a tendency to say the experience is “close enough” to be qualified.

But close enough doesn’t cut it. New equipment means new training and teaching about new hazards.

Case in point: Four employees were killed in an accident at a Deep South Crane & Rigging work site in Houston. The crane’s 420-foot boom had been raised too high and too much weight was placed on the backside mast. It’s known as a “backward overhaul” position. The boom was left in that precarious position for three hours before it collapsed and struck the workers.

The crane operator had experience in similar cranes, but his prior training and experience never included the dangers of backward overhaul. He had never been trained or tested on the load charts for the TC36000 crane he was operating. The tasks and equipment were just too different from previous experience, OSHA said, and issued citations for failure to have a qualified operator. An appeals court upheld the citation.

Bottom line: Training with heavy equipment needs to be specific to the machine and to the task.

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