A Saskatchewan crane rental company will have to pay fines of almost $25,000 as a result of an industrial accident in the summer of 2006 that injured two workers in Saskatoon, according to Canadian press reports.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act charges J. Giesbrecht & Son Cranes, which has branches in Regina and Saskatoon, with a single charge of failing to have safe equipment, which resulted in an injury. Workers at a Saskatoon site were using a hydraulic crane to move a 9,900-kilogram screen deck onto the back of a flatbed truck. The crane operator, who had 32 years experience, had done 16 of the routine lifts since that January, but ran into trouble on this day when he replaced four polyester four-inch slings, used to secure the screen deck for the lift, with three-inch slings.
The prosecutor also noted that softeners — pads normally used to prevent friction between the slings and the metal object being moved — were not used in this instance. During the subsequent lift, one of the slings snapped, causing the remainder of the slings to let go. The heavy metal screen deck crashed down onto the truck, throwing two workers who had been waiting to guide the screen deck into position. One of the workers sustained bruising and scrapes while the other received a torn rotator cuff and a broken heel. Two other workers present were not injured.
Attorneys for the crane rental company said this is its first lost-time crane-related injury accident in 31 years of operation.