Crane Welder is Killed By Falling Steel Beam


Welding ExpertThis case involves the death of a crane welder who was crushed by a steel beam at a crane manufacturer and structural steel facility. The welder was operating an overhead crane by remote control when a steel beam fell and killed him. It was alleged that this safety hazard was caused by poor crane maintenance at the facility. It was also alleged by the facility that the welder had been negligent in his operation of the crane, causing the accident. An expert in crane design and operations was sought to evaluate the crane in question and determine whether or not the facility was liable for the accident.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please briefly describe your experience with the design and/or operations of cranes.
  • 2. Can you speak to the proper design of these cranes and any relevant safety measures that must be in place for both the design and operation of the crane?

Expert Witness Response E-091316

I have 18 years of experience in forensic science work for mechanical, structural, offshore oil, pipelines and personal injury related cases. I am also a specialist in welding, mechanical engineering, and rotating equipment including cranes. I have 30 years of crane experience including bridge cranes, offshore pedestal cranes, gantry cranes for nuclear power plants, overhead cranes, job cranes and gantry cranes. API-2C is the code for pedestal cranes and safety related codes are ANSI B30.2 and 29 CRF 1910.179. Most of the crane cases I have been involved with are contributed to operator error and not following crane safety requirements per ANSI B30.2 and 29CFR 1910.179. Other incidents were caused by weld failure and structural steel material failures. If the crane is still available for visual and liquid penetrant NDE examinations, these examinations would help to determine material and/or weld failures.

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