Y2013-03 Toppling of a truck crane in an oil refinery area at Porvoo on 23 October 2013
A truck crane toppled over at the Kilpilahti oil refinery in Porvoo on 23 October, when engaged in the assembly of a crawler crane. The boom of the fallen truck crane fell onto the ground in the vicinity of the refinery's process piping and flare gas system. Damage to the piping could have resulted in a massive gas and liquid leakage and fire.
No adequate preparations had been made for the lifting operation and the associated risks had been poorly assessed. The location chosen for the crawler crane's assembly was a narrow space on a service road, and the crane used had a lifting capacity insufficient for the intended lifting operation. The lifting contractor had classified the lifting operation as routine work, neither preparing a written lifting plan or carrying out a careful risk assessment. Other contributing factors included the driver's bypassing a safety device and lifting the load too high when carrying it. It had been found that the operating logic of the safety devices of this particular crane restricted work. On previous occasions, bypassing the safety device had been found to cause no problems. The lifting operation was difficult owing to the weight of the load, the confined quarters and the environment's being a process environment. The supervisor was not at the site at the time of the accident.
The Safety Investigation Authority recommends that Infra ry ensure that uniform criteria for diffi-cult lifting operations be specified for the use of lifting contractors and customers. Lifting opera-tions exceeding these criteria should not be initiated without a written lifting plan and risk as-sessment. The criteria for a difficult lifting operation should take account of the environment in which the operation is carried out, including any associated hazards.
The Safety Investigation Authority also recommends that the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency develop its supervisory activities in such a manner that any operator subject to scheduled supervision by the safety inspection institutes be obliged to provide a reliable demonstration of the methods it uses to identify and plan for the risk of major accidents and to state the frequency of application of such methods, in accordance with the Chemical Safety Act.