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Coal Inspectorate | Bulletin | No.199 V 2 | 07 August 2023

Pick and Carry Cranes

What happened?


Note - Version 1 of this Safety Bulletin was published on 14 December 2021.

Pick & carry cranes (commonly referred to as Franna cranes) are widely used in coal mines, however, they have been involved in several concerning incidents involving rollovers, loads falling, mechanical failures as well as uncontrolled movements and collisions. The Crane Industry Council of Australia estimates articulated pick & carry cranes currently account for somewhere between 64% - 68% of all crane incidents.

In 2021 more than ten high potential incidents including five rollovers involving pick & carry cranes have been reported to the Coal Mines Inspectorate.

Further incidents in July 2023 have been added below.

Incident 1

On 18 July 2021, a pick & carry crane was unloading an elevated work platform (EWP) from a flat tray truck. As the operator moved the crane to place the EWP on the ground, the left-hand wheels of the crane rode up on a small (150mm) dirt rill as the right-hand wheels moved into a lower area and the crane tipped on its side. No persons were injured.

Incident 2

On 21 June 2021, whilst lifting a 40 ft container, a fully articulated pick & carry crane reversed over a 150 mm concrete slab, resulting in the crane rolling onto its side (figure 1). It was reported that the crane operator deviated from the planned travel route and the dogman was watching the load, and not where the crane was travelling. No persons were injured in this incident.

Incident 3

On 11 April 2021, whilst moving a large generator, a pick & carry crane tipped on its side (figure 2). The crane was operating at full safe working load, travelling on uneven ground and articulated. It was reported that the load monitoring system override function was activated multiple times prior to the rollover. No persons were injured in this incident.

Incident 4

Whilst relocating a mobile pick & carry crane on site, the operator lost control and rolled the vehicle on its side (figure 3). The coal mine worker (CMW) was able to exit the vehicle, however suffered injuries requiring hospitalisation.

Incident 5

On 16 July 2023, an articulated mobile crane and three workers were despatched to turn a pump protection cover over. During the lift, the load moved unexpectedly and struck one of the coal mine workers below the right knee. The skin was cut and lacerated to the bone and possible fracture to the leg. The coal mine worker was transferred to the hospital, and the injuries identified included a broken tibia and fibula.

Incident 6

On 31 July 2023, an event occurred at a CHPP train loadout facility, whereby a 25 Tonne articulating mobile crane was in the process of unloading a temporary building off a transport truck. During this process, the Crane rolled onto its side. The crane operator was transferred to the hospital, and the injuries identified included significant bruising.

Other incidents reported

How did it happen?

The review of the incident investigations identified multiple common causes:

When the above factors were considered, the carrying capacity of the crane may be significantly reduced, resulting in rollovers whilst travelling.


It is recommended that the Site Senior Executive:

References and further information

  1. Mobile crane - Code of Practice 2006 (PN11180): Workplace Health and Safety Queensland;
  2. Safety Bulletin – Operation of articulated cranes SB – 2021 – 02 Issued: September 21 National Heavy vehicle regulator
  3. CICA – Vic / Tas Branch Crane Safety Bulletin #290 August 2021
  4. Federal Safety Commissioner’s Hazard 2020 Safety Campaign Webinar – Articulated Cranes – 28 July 2021
  5. Using mobile cranes in ‘pick & carry’ operations safety alert. Safework NSW 2013
  6. Prevent pick and carry cranes from overturning Work Safe Victoria 12 Oct 2021

Authorised by Jacques le Roux - Chief Inspector – Coal

Contact: Anthony Logan, Senior Inspector of Mines (Mechanical) , +61 7 3199 8001

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.
Placement: Place this announcement on noticeboards and ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy, understand the content, findings and recommendations as applicable to their operation. SSEs should validate that recommendations have been implemented.

All information on this page (Pick and Carry Cranes - is correct as of time of printing (Oct 4, 2023 5:17 pm).