Alert 13 – 16 Whipping of Cable (Stored Energy) Results in Injury
While changing out the wire on the crane winch shown in the photo, the Injured Person (IP) was positioned next to the winch so as to facilitate the securing of the cable on the drum. One clamp had been placed on the cable when it was discovered that the cable needed to be adjusted. The clamp was then slackened to allow for this adjustment. Due to the non-rotating characteristics, composition, and bend of the crane wire, there was a great deal of mechanical energy stored in the wire at the securing location. This stored energy caused the wire to spring back when the adjustment was made. The IP was positioned in direct line of the wire movement resulting in the end of the wire hitting him in the forehead, just above his eye. Even though the IP was wearing PPE at the time, the incident resulted in a small cut just above his eye, which had to be treated at the local emergency room.