Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Harland & Wolff Accident

I wanted to post this accident in the past but I never did because I wanted more information. Did anyone die? How did it happen? It is often hard to find out those answers because private companies do not have to report an accident if no one gets hurt. Unless someone is killed it is easy to keep the information from getting out to the public. This occurred at Harland & Wolff in Belfast on April 4th 2007. No one was killed in this accident. This is the same shipyard where the Titanic was built. There are 5 cranes in the shipyard. They have two Goliath cranes. One nicknamed Goliath and the other Samson. Goliath was built first in 1969, Samson was built in 1974. They span 140 meters (460ft) with a lifting height of 70 meters (230ft). Each has a capacity of 840 metric tons, or 926 short tons. So combined they can pick up 1600 metric tons or 1852 short tons. They are complete monsters. The crane that fell was a Henson 60 metric tons (66 short tons) crane. It stood 25 meters (82ft). The filming was taking from atop of the neighboring Henson crane. It is said that when the crane fell it came only within a few feet of the neighboring crane. I would think that a shipyard as big as this one would have an anti-collision system installed that would prevent such a collision. As the tower crane comes into the path of the gantry crane they should make it so that it automatically stops the gantry from moving in the direction of the tower crane. Since no one was killed then I imagine then that the tower crane was empty. This would mean to me that someone parked the crane in that position. Why would they park it in the path of the crane? There should also be a safety mechanism that does not allow for shutdown of the crane if it is in the path of the Gantry. In this age of technology there is no need to not have it. The price to install one on a crane would be minimal.

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