WIND FARM CONSTRUCTION IN FINLAND
In 2017 a Coyle Group Safety Officer was engaged on a wind energy construction project for a client in Finland. He identified an issue in which a telehandler was being utilised outside its prescribed capacity to place and remove ballast from the main installation crane. This observation was brought to the attention of the crane company and site management.
THE WRONG TOOLS FOR THE JOB
The telehandler was lifting a weight of 12.5te even though the capacity on them duty chart stated that the maximum working load limit (WLL) was 12te. Continuing to use this method after the problem was identified resulted in the telehandler tipping forward as the load it was carrying became dynamic. This emonstrated a lack of safety culture on site and needed urgent attention after the initial findings were not heeded.
PUTTING SAFETY FIRST
After the time-out for safety was held, the original plan of using a rigging crane was re-established. The safety culture of the team was improved, and this resulted in the work being carried out safely.
SPEED BEFORE SAFETY
After the incident, work was stopped by our consultant, and a time-out for safety was held. It was discovered at this point that the reason behind the incident was a desire for speed at the cost of safety. There was a crane on site that was initially expected to carry out this task, but the decision was taken to use the telehandler to speed up the operation, disregarding the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMITTING TO SAFETY
This incident highlighted an organisational failing that sat with the site team and contracted crane company. The client issued a Safety Alert company-wide to emphasize the risk from utilising machinery in this way. By fully buying into carrying out the job safely the project finished on time and without further incident in this field.