Crane collapse in Stamford, Conn., results in proposed US Labor Department
OSHA fines of $165,200 for Port Chester, NY, marine construction contractor
Concavage Marine Construction Co. cited for willful and serious crane safety violations
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Concavage Marine Construction Co. for willful and serious workplace safety violations following a May 22 crane collapse at the Avalon Bay Marina in Stamford. The marine construction contractor, based in Port Chester, N.Y., had been hired to replace and repair storm-damaged pilings at the marina and faces $165,200 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Bridgeport Area Office.
While installing pilings, the 80-foot boom of the barge-mounted crane fell over backward, bouncing off the stays of a sailboat and landing on top of a yacht. OSHA's inspection found that the crane lacked boom stops and a boom hoist limiting device, necessary safety devices that would have prevented the boom from falling backward. The crane had not been inspected by a competent person who could have identified these and other hazards. These hazards resulted in two willful citations carrying $98,000 in fines. A willful violation is one committed with intentional disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
"This crane should not have been operating. Not only did it lack required safety devices, it had not been inspected for these and other defects that should have been corrected before the crane began operating. The employer deliberately failed to adhere to basic crane safety standards, putting at risk the lives of its employees and anyone else in the vicinity," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport.
Fourteen serious citations, with $67,200 in fines, involve hazards related to the set up, operation and maintenance of the crane and barge, including failing to conduct additional, required daily, monthly and annual inspections of the crane, the barge and the crane's wire lifting ropes; ensure that load charts, with the crane's correct lifting capacity, were in the crane; reduce the crane's rated lifting capacity to account for operating on the barge; ensure that the cabling system used to secure the crane to the barge is sufficiently sized and strong to support the crane's load; ensure that the barge was structurally sufficient; and erect control lines or railing to mark the crane's swing/crush zone. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Concavage_Marine_Construction_CO_910737_1119_13.pdf*.
Concavage Marine Construction has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Additional information on barge safety and the OSHA standard governing work on floating cranes/derricks and land cranes/derricks on barges is available at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/3358deck-barge-safety.pdf* and https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=115.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Bridgeport Area Office at 203-579-5581.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.