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Marine Construction Firm in Hot Water for Alleged Safety Violations that Led to Crane Collapse

Nov. 25, 2013
Concavage Marine Construction Co. faces $165,200 in proposed fines.

OSHA has cited Concavage Marine Construction Co. for alleged willful and serious violations that the agency said contributed to a May 22 crane collapse at the Avalon Bay Marina in Stamford, Conn.

The Port Chester, N.Y.-based marine construction contractor, which had been hired to replace and repair storm-damaged pilings at the marina, faces $165,200 in proposed fines.

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, according to OSHA. The agency said its 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. Also, the crane had not been inspected by a competent person who could have identified these and other hazards, according to OSHA, which issued two willful citations for the alleged safety lapses.

"This crane should not have been operating," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "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."

Fourteen serious citations, with $67,200 in fines, involve hazards related to the setup, 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.

The citations can be viewed on OSHA's website.

Concavage Marine Construction has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply or contest the findings.

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