Contractor Cited After Crane Accident Causes Two Fatalities

Two construction workers fell 80 ft. after a personnel platform fell from a crane when the rigging dislodged

Cal/OSHA cited Disney Construction, Inc. of Burlingame $106,110 for serious violations following the May 30th deaths of two employees who fell 80 feet from a crane-hoisted platform at a bridge construction site in Winters.

The Sacramento District Office's investigation found:

  • Disney Construction's crane had not been certified or visually inspected for defects to satisfy current testing and examination standards
  • The crane operator failed to perform an unmanned trial run or have a competent person inspect the rigging and platform before usage
  • There was no qualified, trained signal person to assist with the lifting operation

"Employers in California are required to perform regular equipment inspections to identify and prevent mechanical problems that can lead to tragedy," said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Cal/OSHA, formally known as the division of Occupational Safety and Health, is a division of DIR.

Disney Construction was hired to build a new concrete vehicle bridge to connect the City of Winters in Yolo County to Solano County across Putah Creek. Workers were using a pile driver crane when a cable broke near the top of a pile driver. A second crane was used to hoist a personnel platform with two workers, Marcus Powell of Los Gatos and Glenn Hodgson of Richmond, so they could troubleshoot the cable on the pile driver. The rigging used to connect the platform to the crane dislodged, causing the platform and workers to fall some 80 feet to the ground.

"Specific regulations are in place to operate cranes safely. This incident is a sobering reminder of the tragedies that can occur when safety protocols are not followed," said Acting Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum.

Cal/OSHA also cited Disney Construction for not thoroughly surveying the conditions of the worksite for predictable employee hazards and neglecting to implement the necessary safeguards required to perform this type of operation.