‘Men, not machines to blame’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Men, not machines to blame’

mumbai Updated: Feb 09, 2013 00:57 IST
Saurabh Katkurwar

Even as authorities passed the buck or remain tightlipped about the Sahar Elevated Access Road accident, experts say that lack of knowledge about crane operations is the most probable reason for the mishap.

Sudhir Badami, a transport expert, said prima facie, lack of judgment about the carrying capacity of the cranes led to the mishap.

“In a vertical position, the boom of a crane has its maximum carrying capacity. However, when the boom starts going down, a lifted object goes far from the base of the crane and subsequently the carrying capacity of the crane start decreasing,” said Badami.

He said the driver of the crane might have failed to judge its carrying capacity in the Sahar accident.

“When the segment was lifted by the crane and was being placed on pier caps, the segment’s weight must have exceeded the carrying capacity of the crane and subsequently the crane might have slipped,” he said.

Badami said that an ill-trained operator could also be responsible for such a mishap. “At times, while placing segments on pier cap, a crane jerks and if brakes are applied suddenly, the crane may lose its balance. So, there is a possibility that the crane operator might have applied brakes abruptly that could have led to the collapse of the segment,” he said.

Considering the accident took place at night, low visibility could also have contributed to the misjudgment, said Badami.

Transport experts hold manual errors, and not technical errors, as largely responsible for the mishaps that have occurred in the past at public infrastructure sites.

Experts now demand that stricter action against contractors as well as government agencies to ensure safety at public infrastructure work sites. Jitendra Gupta, another transport expert, said: “Manual errors have led to most of the accidents in the past rather than technical errors. Contractors, sub-contractors and government agencies need to take adequate safety measures.”

“A case should be registered against the responsible government officials in case of an accident. Only then will they take safety measures seriously at construction sites.”