A truck driver was seriously injured on Sunday when a Rough Terrain crane overturned at a gravel pit in Nome, Alaska.
The crane boom flattened the cab of the truck causing serious spinal injuries to the driver, Bryce Warnke-Green, 25. Police are investigating the incident as an industrial accident, having notified the Alaska Department of Labor/Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The crane, a larger Badger Rough Terrain appears to have been working free on tyres – or at the very least with outriggers retracted and no mats in use – while the boom was almost fully extended and elevated at an angle of around 45 to 50 degrees, the crane then overturned as it slewed over the side.
The gravel pit is owned by Alaska Gold, a subsidiary of Bering Straits Native Corporation and is operated by ProWest Contractors, which is apparently responsible for both the crane and the truck.
This is a totally avoidable incident, what the operator thought he was doing extending the boom without properly setting the outriggers is anybody’s guess. It suggest a distinct lack of training and experience. As a result, a man in the prime of life is likely to suffer from his injuries for the rest of his life. Let’s hope that he is not completely paralysed and makes a good recovery.