OSHA Cites Contractor In Death Caused by Crane Boom

OSHA says the company failed to conduct required hoist inspections that would have identified defects

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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Yonkers Contracting Co. Inc. for a total of 10 alleged serious violations of workplace safety in connection with the April 3 death of a worker on the No. 7 subway extension project in Manhattan. The worker, an employee of subcontractor J&E Industries of Belle Harbor, was fatally struck by a crane boom at the 524 W. 33rd St. worksite after the wire rope used to raise and lower the boom broke, causing it to fall.

"Fundamental, vital and required safety practices were not followed in this case, resulting in the most extreme consequence - the loss of a worker's life," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director in Manhattan. "Had the proper procedures been followed, this incident and this worker's death could have been prevented."

OSHA's inspection found that Yonkers Contracting had not conducted required inspections of wire ropes used to hoist materials, including the boom hoist that collapsed and killed the worker. Inspections by the employer are required before each work shift and on a monthly and annual basis to identify and correct any defects in the ropes. A total of 10 serious violations were cited, which also include allowing a worker inside the crane's fall zone, not ensuring that a rigger (that is, a worker who rigs cranes to lift loads) is properly trained, fall hazards stemming from an unguarded/open-sided work area, impalement hazards from unguarded rebar and failing to conduct required annual functional testing of the hoist.

Additionally, J&E Industries was issued one serious citation involving a lack of training for a rigger. 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/Cits330046.pdf and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Cits330085.pdf. Yonkers Contacting, which faces $68,000 in proposed fines, and J&E Industries, which faces a $7,000 proposed fine, each have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.