Harrison Hoist employees were dismantling the crane when it went over causing two erectors to fall around 50 metres to the ground – both died from their injuries.
The violations include:
– Failure to address the hazards associated with the effects of wind speed and weather on the equipment.
– Failure to ensure that procedures for disassembling the tower crane prevented the collapse of any part of the equipment.
– Failure to adequately support and stabilize all parts of the equipment.
– Failure to ensure that disassembly procedures positioned workers to minimize their exposure to unintended movement or collapse.
– Failure to ensure that disassembly procedures were developed by a qualified person.
– Failure to train each competent person and each qualified person regarding the requirements federal regulations of crane and derricks in construction.
OSHA determines there is a serious violation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm will result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Stephen Boyd, OSHA’s Dallas area office director said: “It is imperative for employers to have procedures in place, train workers and otherwise adhere to safe work practices regarding crane use in order to protect workers who disassemble cranes.”
Harrison Hoist has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal meeting with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Otherwise the proposed fine stands. Click here to see the original accident report
If the citations have any merit to them, this fine appears to be very low given the fact that two men lost their lives. Fines of this level are hardly likely to send a strong message to other companies – there might be a chance that the company will also face civil law suits in which damages can be substantial, but if they were full time employees it is unlikely.
Once the penalties are settled OSHA needs to be more specific about what actually went wrong. Having said all that it is encouraging that this issue is being brought to a conclusion within six months, rather than the years it can take in other parts of the world.