The recent crane collapse in New York has caused some talk on the job lately. Unfortunately, cranes falling are not that uncommon even here, away from the real high rises. I mean, it doesn't happen all the time but I know of several incidences in my short career. These photos are from my one time in a tower crane several years back. We were building onto a hospital in Anniston, AL. This crane was only at about 200 feet but to me it was pretty high. They sway so much that I actually felt motion sick as I reached the top. Another thing that is about as common is to have the crane operator die in the crane of natural causes. I guess since most operators are usually older men and the cabs of the cranes get very hot, several of them have had heart attacks. By the time anyone knows what is going on and can get to them (it takes about 15-20 minutes to climb to the cab) they are already dead. One we know of died during a concrete pour. A lot of the high rise floors here are poured with a crane and buckets that holds 2-3 yards of concrete. The operator had enough wits about him when he realized what was happening to hit the emergency stop on the crane but he unfortunately, passed away.
I took this photo while I was sitting in the operator's seat. The floor of the cab is Plexiglas so you can see straight down. I gave me a really uneasy feeling at first. Another thing the surprises a lot of the guys is when they find out that often times in the summer, the tower crane operators will be nude. It gets so hot in the cabs, as they are essentially glass boxes, many of the operators will take all their clothes off. This was the case with another one that died in the crane and when our guys got up there to him they were quite surprised with what they found.
There was another young man killed on a site this week not far from here. In fact, it was on a job that my company was supposed to have gotten as general contractor. Two construction workers in less than a year is a little unusual. From the reports it sounded like he was electrocuted. You know, when I see some of you out there working on construction projects of your own and I say, please be careful etc., I don't think that you all are stupid or don't know what you are doing, it's just that we see so many bad things, it makes you constantly aware of what can happen. We have safety crammed down our throats and stuff still happens every day on jobs and it happens in the blink of an eye. I mean, I know of 2 incidences where I was just 3 or 4 inches from buying the farm myself. You maybe don't really find out how close you came until later and it is very sobering. So, please be careful anytime you are climbing on something, working with electrical or gas or working under an object that is not completely secure.
I haven't felt like posting much lately even though I have several things going on at the house. My mood is still kinda flat and I just don't feel like I have much to say that would be of any interest to anyone out there. I learn so much from all the other blogs out there and hope I provide some new ideas maybe, to someone, but I guess I feel like I don't have anything new to share. Anyway, maybe I won't be away too long. Ya'll be safe.