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Risks of short legging with mobile lifting plant

  • What happened?

    ‘Short legging’ is when mobile plant is used when the outrigger legs are not fully extended.

    When the legs are not fully extended, the mobile plant is more likely to overturn.

    Incident 1:

    A mobile crane was short legged when it was being packed up to move. The crane was moved to a point where the counterweight was over the side of the vehicle. It overturned and struck a nearby building.

    Incident 2:

    A concrete placement boom was set up short legged on one side. The boom moved towards the side of the vehicle that was short legged.  The vehicle overturned – a near-miss close to overhead power lines and office blocks.

    Overturned mobile concrete placement boom
  • Why did it happen?

    Mobile plant may overturn when the boom or counterweight are positioned towards the short legged outrigger or stabilisers.

    The reason that mobile plant can be set up short legged can vary:

    • Restricted set up area with obstructions.
    • Unstable ground conditions for safe support of the outrigger feet.
    • It can also be due to poor working practices – where the operator does not understand the safety implications.
    Telescope outriggers
  • What did they learn?

    Good planning is required – worksites should be big enough for mobile plant to be set up safely with the outriggers fully extended.

    If short legging has to be used, then make sure that:

    • All manufacturer’s guidelines are used.
    • A work method statement should be used to show the operating conditions under which short legging is used.
    • All workers are aware of the limited capacity/working loads of the mobile plant while working short legged.
    • The mobile plant remains stable during set up, operation and pack up.
    What learn - icon
  • Ask yourself or your crew

    How can something like this happen here?

    Think of a time you short legged.  Why was that done? What could have happened?  What safety precautions were put in place?

    What can we do to change the site or working conditions so that we do not need to short leg?

    If we have to short leg, what mitigations can we put in place?

    Ask your crew - icon
Published on 06/05/21 278 Views 0 likes

Short legging can lead to mobile plant being unstable and overturning. When they fall they can damage the worksite and nearby buildings and overhead structures.Courtesy of Worksafe Queensland Government