Report on traffic accident in Kristiansand 7 March 2017 involving a mobile crane

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Description

English translation now available.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) has investigated an accident involving a mobile crane on a pedestrian walkway outside Karuss School in Kristiansand in which a five-year old boy lost his life on 7 March 2017.

The mobile crane had been temporarily parked before a work assignment when it skidded/rolled backwards down the walkway. It ran into four people who were present in the walkway.

The accident happened when the mobile crane was about to carry out a work assignment at the Karuss School building site. The driver reversed the mobile crane onto a pedestrian walkway covered with snow, engaged the mobile crane’s parking brake and then left the driver’s cabin. The driver and a colleague were going to evaluate the need for implementation of any necessary safety measures, including the use of chains.

The investigation has shown that the mobile crane's parking brake was only effective on the front axle and not on the middle axle. The locked front wheels were incapable of keeping the mobile crane stationary on the snowy walkway, and it skidded/rolled uncontrolledly down the slope.

The AIBN found that the certified inspection by an enterprise of competence carried out approximately two months before the accident had failed to identify this fault in the brake system. Nor had this brake failure been identified by the crane company. The defective brakes, together with the slope of the ground and low friction on the snowy walkway, caused the mobile crane to skid/roll uncontrolledly downhill.

The investigation showed that there had been inadequate attention to safety on the part of the client in that Kristiansand Municipality was unable to present any risk assessment for this use of the walkway or a pertaining plan for posting signs as required by the applicable regulations. Hence, no signs had been posted to show that the walkway was being used for anything other than its intended purpose, its use during the building project was unregulated and it was left to the driver's mate to ensure the safety of those who used the walkway.

The AIBN has issued three safety recommendations in connection with this investigation.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation ROAD No 2018/01T

The accident outside Karuss Kindergarten and School in Kristiansand on 7 March 2017 occurred on a pedestrian walkway, at a time when children and families were on their way to school/ kindergarten. A child died in the accident. The walkway was being used as an access route to the building site during the renovation of a primary school. The investigation has shown that Kristiansand Municipality, being the client, failed to identify the need to include a work notification plan in the health, safety and working environment (HSE) plan for the project. The AIBN believes that a work notification plan and related risk assessments would have been capable of identifying potential conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists, and ensuring the posting of appropriate signs and proper adaptation of the access route.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that Kristiansand Municipality implement procedures to ensure road safety by requiring that work notification plans be prepared in connection with municipal building works that affect public roads.

Safety recommendation ROAD No 2018/02T

The accident outside Karuss kindergarten and school in Kristiansand on 7 March 2017 claimed the life of a child who became trapped under a mobile crane with inadequate braking power. The official inspection of the mobile crane had not been able to identify these defects. The mobile crane was initially registered in 2006 and was thus exempt from the Road Traffic Act's requirement for periodic roadworthiness tests. Pursuant to Section 13-1 of the Regulations on the Execution of Work, mobile cranes and other work equipment are subject to a requirement for certified inspection by an enterprise of competence. The AIBN's investigation has shown that the inspection regime does not include unambiguous guidelines for the inspection of brakes and other technical driving equipment.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, in its capacity as supervisory body, ensures that inspections by enterprises of competence of brake systems on mobile cranes and other plant and machinery not subject to periodic roadworthiness tests are carried out in a uniform manner and so as to ensure an adequate level of road safety.

Safety recommendation ROAD No 2018/03T

The accident outside Karuss kindergarten and school in Kristiansand on 7 March 2017 claimed the life of a child who became trapped under a mobile crane with inadequate braking power. The official inspection of the mobile crane had not been capable of identifying these defects. Mobile cranes that were registered before 15 September 2012 are exempt from the requirement for periodic roadworthiness tests, and the certified inspections by enterprises of competence are not subject to uniform guidelines for inspection of brake systems.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration initiate measures to ensure that all registered mobile cranes, plant and machinery used on roads are subject to uniform brake system inspections.

Location
Kristiansand, Vest Agder County
Occurrence date
07.03.2017
Accident type
Other accident
Road class
Local road
County
Vest-Agder
Police Disctrict
Agder
Vehicle type
Pedestrian, Crane truck
Type of Transportation
Transfer work/assignment
Road region
Southern Region
Accident category
Ulykke m/ kjøretøy over 7500 kg
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