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Crane collapse kills one worker, injures another

OSHA citations follow

January 9, 2013
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OSHATwo Wisconsin companies – including one with a previous crane-related worker fatality -- face ten safety citations in the wake of a crane collapse at a bridge construction site last summer that left one man dead and another hospitalized.

The accident occurred at a site near Oshkosh on July 5th. A truck driver died when he was struck by the boom of a crane that overturned while bridge girders were being erected with a multiple crane lift. A worker who was operating the crane was seriously injured when he was thrown from the cab as the crane fell.

The company employing the crane operator, Lunda Construction, was cited for allowing a crane to travel with a suspended load; failing to train competent and qualified persons on their respective roles; failing to adequately attach the crane to the barge and failing to use appropriate signaling methods suitable for the site conditions; and meet the requirements of the critical lift plan. Additionally, the company was cited for failing comply with crane operator standards by designating a lift director and conducting multiple crane-lift planning meetings.

Choice Construction was contracted by Lunda Construction to provide manpower for erecting the girders and is being cited with four serious violations for failing to develop an effective safety program, conduct competent and qualified person training and comply with the provisions of the crane operating standards, including designating a competent lift director and conducting a multiple crane-lift planning meeting.

This was the third OSHA inspection for Choice Construction, which was previously cited with two other-than-serious violations.

The company employing the truck driver, Spancrete, was not cited as a result of OSHA’s investigation.

Lunda Construction was previously cited in October for three serious violations after a worker, who was struck by a section of crane he was assembling at a construction site on Highway 41 near De Pere, was killed. The company has contested those citations. Lunda Construction has been previously inspected by OSHA five times since 2009, resulting in the issuance of five violations.

OSHA has placed Lunda Construction in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on recalcitrant employers who endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities or job sites. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=4503.

The citations for Lunda Construction can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/lunda-504978-1227-12.pdf.*

Citations for Choice Construction can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/choiceconstruction-558121-1227.pdf.*

Proposed penalties for Lunda Construction total $105,000, and total $13,220 for Choice Construction.

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