Region 5 News Release: V-72
Jan. 12, 2000
Contact: Juan Solano / Brad Mitchell
PHONE: (312) 353-6976
Three Firms Fined For Total
of Over Half-Million Dollars
OSHA CITES SUBCONTRACTORS IN MILLER PARK FATAL CRANE COLLAPSE, MILWAUKEE
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today that it has issued citations alleging workplace safety violations to three firms involved in the construction of the Miller Park professional baseball stadium in Milwaukee following its investigation into last July's crane collapse that resulted in the death of three workers.
OSHA Area Director for Milwaukee George Yoksas said that the agency is issuing willful and serious citations against three firms, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., Lampson International Ltd., and Danny's Construction Company, Inc., with proposed penalties of $240,500, $131,300, and $168,000 respectively.
Yoksas said compliance with OSHA requirements would likely have prevented this tragedy. He added failure to take the effect of wind into account was a significant factor in the collapse of the crane.
OSHA's investigation focused on general requirements relating to safe operation of cranes and personnel platforms as well as conditions which may have contributed to the crane collapse. The citations relate to several alleged OSHA violations at the time of the crane collapse as well as unrelated conditions which existed earlier in the day.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, under contract with the project's general contractor HCH, was responsible for installing the retractable roof for the Miller Park baseball stadium and subcontracted with Danny's Construction as the ironworker subcontractor to erect the roof, and Lampson as the subcontractor providing crane services on the project. The collapse occurred while the crane known as "Big Blue" was lifting a section of the stadium roof, "4R block 3," weighing over 450 tons.
OSHA issued willful citations to Mitsubishi alleging that the crane's rated load was exceeded when 4R block 3 was first lifted off the ground during the morning of the lift; that workers were not kept clear of the suspended 450 ton load during the morning of the lift and that workers were hoisted in personnel platforms when weather conditions were dangerous.
The serious citations issued to Mitsubishi allege a failure to follow requirements such as factoring in wind conditions prior to and during crane operation. In addition, Mitsuibishi was cited for failing to follow requirements relating to ground conditions during the morning of the lift; failing to ensure that the crane's load indicator was properly calibrated; failing to properly secure the wedge socket on the whip line and failing to follow certain OSHA requirements regarding personnel platforms.
Lampson International was issued citations alleging that the crane's rated load was exceeded when 4R block 3 was first lifted off the ground during the morning of the lift and that the crane's load indicator was improperly calibrated.
Serious citations issued to Lampson allege a failure to follow requirements such as factoring in wind conditions prior to and during the lift. In addition, serious citations allege that workers were not kept clear of 4R block 3 while it was suspended during the morning; that a wedge socket was improperly secured; that the crane's load ratings were not properly determined; and that requirements relating to ground conditions were not followed during the morning of the lift.
Danny's Construction Company received willful citations alleging that its employees were not kept clear of the suspended roof section while it was suspended during the morning of the lift and that it allowed employees to be hoisted in personnel platforms when weather conditions were dangerous.
Serious citations issued to Danny's Construction Company allege that the crane was operated in excess of the manufacturer's 20 miles per hour specification; that the employer did not ensure that the operators of the cranes were present for the prelift meetings and that certain OSHA requirements regarding personnel platforms were not followed.
OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition, and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
A willful violation is defined as one which is committed with an intentional disregard for or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and its regulations.
Yoksas said the company has 15 working days from the receipt of the citations to contest or accept citations, proposed penalties and abatement dates with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission or to request an informal conference with the area director.
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