Backing cranes into position requires multiple workers, the operator and the spotter. At a drill site in February 2015, a spotter was guiding the operator into position, but when he reached for his radio to alert the operator to “stop”, he lost balance causing him to not give the command. The lack of instruction to the operator meant he continued in reverse. By the time the operator realized the mistake, the spotter was already stuck between the outrigger and a well house causing injuries to his wrist. Luckily that was the only harm done.

What are some corrective actions to ensure this sort of incident doesn’t happen again? Ensure there are clear communication protocols in place before starting the job, choose different place for spotter to stand while guiding the operator to avoid being in the line of fire, and instruct both operator and spotter to stop all operations if any communication is lost between them.

Do you agree with these? Is there more they can do?

(resource: IOGP Safety Alert #286)