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CROSS Safety Report

Lifting bolt failure

Report ID: 110 Published: 1 July 2008 Region: CROSS-UK

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Overview

A major contractor reported an incident that had occurred in which a threaded eyebolt failed during an operation to lift a section of stonework into place.

Key Learning Outcomes

For construction professionals:

  • Consider introducing a quality management procedure for the inspection of safety critical connections such as eyebolts to ensure they are marked with their SWL

  • Ensure that the selection of any lifting accessory, including eyebolts, forms part of the lifting plan and must be undertaken by someone competent to select lifting equipment

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A major contractor reported an incident that had occurred in which a threaded eyebolt failed during an operation to lift a section of stonework into place. Although there were no injuries this was clearly a high potential incident.

Investigation has revealed that the eyebolt was not marked with its Safe Working Load (SWL). Eyebolts are accessories for lifting under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and must be marked with their SWL.

The eye had failed at a poor quality weld where it had been bent back on itself to form the loop of the eye (Figure 1). It had then opened out and fractured at the opposite end, releasing the load. The contractor’s staff have been instructed to:

  • Ensure that all eyebolts are marked with their SWL

  • Ensure that the selection of any lifting accessory, including eyebolts, forms part of the lifting plan and must be undertaken by someone competent to select lifting equipment i.e. the appointed person/lifting co-coordinator or other suitably qualified engineer

Image
Figure 1: failed lifting bolt

Expert Panel Comments

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Lifting equipment used in conformity with LOLER should not exhibit this kind of problem so the use of unrated components in a lifting rig must be avoided, as must the use of modified components. When possible, lifting frames should be used under the control of a qualified rigger who would check the SWL before beginning operations. It may however be difficult to ascertain the weight of the component being lifted although this should be given by the manufacturer. The example illustrates the importance of knowing the source of material and equipment supplied.

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