For OSHA Construction and General Industry

Crane Collapse Leads To Criminal Charges

Crane collapse leads to OSHA Investigation

As they started their day on March 15, 2008, construction workers, Wayne Bleidner, Clifford Canzona, Brad Cohen, Santino Gallone, Anthony Mazzo, Aaron Stephens, and Florida tourist, Odin Torres probably never imagined they would never make it home again. Each of them died when there as a  crane collapse at a New York construction work site. The project, a skyscraper on 303 East 51st Street was located in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay neighborhood. Master rigger, William Rapetti was charged with seven counts of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and reckless endangerment in association with the crane collapse. He was acquitted of all charges in July 2010. Causes of the crane collapse include too few girders to support the structure and not having the 200 foot crane securely bolted to the ground. Rapetti and his attorney contended these issues were not his responsibility as he was charged with completing careless, substandard work at the job site.

Crane Collapse Are Targeted in OSHA’s Deadly Dozen Focus

The causes of the crane collapse are directly related to Construction’s Deadly Dozen unsafe acts. These are unsafe acts that lead to many common workplace incidents. Of course, the 2008 Turtle Bay crane collapse incident was extremely uncommon as it relates to everyday occurrences. However, the root causes of the incident directly connect to common safety practices. Safety precautionsand procedures should be in place at every construction job site. Throughout 2013, this blog will focus on construction’s deadly dozen and elaborate on effective strategies to avoid accidents or fatal injuries.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) officials consistently emphasize many work site incidents can be prevented with proper training and familiarity of construction working environments and conditions, including crane collapse incidents.  Unsafe acts include careless or negligible actions conducted at the work site that consistently lead to fatalities or serious injuries.

Unsafe Acts

1. Unauthorized use or operation of equipment.

2. Failure to secure or tie down materials to prevent unexpected movement.

3. Working or operating equipment too fast.

4. Failure to issue warnings or signals as required.

5. Using defective tools or equipment.

6. Removing guards.

7. Improperly using tools or equipment.

8. Standing in an unsafe place or assuming an improper posture (as in lifting).

9. Servicing moving equipment.

10. Riding equipment not designed for passengers.

11. Horseplay.

12. Failure to wear the proper personal protective equipment.

Construction is a risky profession. Construction professionals should always stay mindful of their environments and working conditions. Safety should be a priority. Unsafe conditions as they relate to construction are listed below.

Unsafe Conditions

1. Lack of proper guards.

2. Lack of a proper warning system.

3. Fire and explosion hazards.

4. Poor housekeeping.

5. Unexpected movements.

6. Protruding objects such as nails, wire, or other metals.

7. Improper clearance or congestion at aisles or passageways.

8. Poor placement, storage or arrangement of materials.

9. Hazardous tools, equipment or materials.

10. Poor lighting, high noise levels.

11. Hazardous atmospheric conditions.

12. Improper personal attire.

As we embark upon 2013, safety should be a major priority and focus at all job sites. Extra effort should be made this year to become better informed, better prepared, better motivated to address safety issues and prevent accidents at construction sites. Advanced safety training with our OSHA-Approved 30 Hour Construction Training course and our 30 Hour General Industry Training Course, can be helpful for both contractors and employees.

Better Informed, Better Prepared, Better Motivated to Handle Safety!