Singapore MOM wants to use datalogger to curb operators of dangerous lifting

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There is a news published in the internet news today that singapoer’s Ministry of Manpower intended to use datalogger to make sure that operators stick to the safety rules.

Data logger, which has a similar functions as Black Boxes in the airplanes are used to record data of the movement and activities during usage of a piece of equipment. While most of the time, the data in the data logger are being retrieved to analysis and diagnose the root cause of an accident. So how does a data logger be used to ensure that crane operators does not breach safety rules ?

What Happens to the Crane Warranty ? 

On the other hands, most of the crane manufacturers has imposed super pins on the crane which are only accessible by their own engineers to prevent them from editing the data within the data logger for warranty issues. In that case, would that means that everytime that data has to be retrieve, we will have to engage an engineer from the manufacturers ?

Is all cranes readily to be fitted with data logger?

Understand that most of the new cranes are fitted with data logger while those older crane models might not have this function available. As such, that means modifications will be needed in order for the data logger to be fitted into the crane’s system. In the event as such that data logger is being implemented as a must in the industry, how do we really keep track that calibration of these additional data logger corresponds to the actual loading of the crane ? That is a tough question to be answer.

Crane Accidents really due to Crane Mechanical Failure ?

Through the recent spat of crane accidents happening in Singapore, I think we will have to start thinking about the safety requirements / aspects of lifting operations in Singapore. While most of the accidents are pointing fingers at crane’s mechanical failure, what is the actual root cause ? While taking into consideration that most of the accidents are caused by human errors or weather (in overseas countries), does fitting a data logger helps to solve the current problem ? Moreover, it can be seen in Singapore that land space are getting lesser and lesser, site access has becomes a uprising problem for crane parking which we have seen contractors insisting on crane companies to carry out the operation with a certain level of risk factors involved before the crane operation. Would that accounts to a crane accident as well ?

Last but not the least, there is also an increasing accidents in public transport in Taxis and Buses, I think they should be the first one to have data logger installed since they are interacting almost everyday with the public and pose a higher chances of risk to them as well.

Below is the article reported from Channel News Asia 

SINGAPORE: Construction cranes in Singapore may have to be fitted with “black boxes” as a safety requirement. Known as data loggers, the devices can record the load of cranes, to ensure operators stick to safety rules.
The device can produce data to show how many times operators overload their cranes – and by how much. One data logger costs at least S$21,000. This was revealed at the third Crane Safety Symposium held at the Singapore Expo on Tuesday. The Manpower Ministry is currently holding a pilot trial, before deciding if such devices should be made compulsory. The Land Transport Authority is already doing this with crane operators on its Thomson Line project. Henry Ho, workplace safety and health manager at Shanghai Tunnel Engineering, said: “The crane operators are notified that they’re closely monitored 24/7 by this data logger. And we’ve seen a trend in crane operators behaving very well – they’re operating the cranes safely and there’s less overloading. And with less overloading, it means lifting works are being carried out safely.”