Massachusetts Bay Electrical Corp. could have saved the lives of two workers who died in an April crane tip-over if it had followed the crane manufacturer’s operating instructions and trained its employees on the crane’s proper operation, OSHA asserts.
The employees were working from a raised personnel platform attached to an Elliott 40142 truck-mounted crane. They were working on power lines on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal when the crane overturned and fell more than 150 feet to the ground, according to OSHA.
“These deaths were preventable,” said Brenda Gordon, OSHA’s area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts. “The employer did not refer to or use readily available and necessary information that would have allowed this work to be conducted safely. This lapse placed two workers in harm’s way and needlessly cost them their lives.”
OSHA concluded that company employees were not properly trained or evaluated on the truck-mounted crane prior to use. Supervisors at the job site did not follow procedures for setting up and operating the crane in accordance with the crane’s safety manual, even though the manual was in the crane and at the job site, according to the agency.
Supervisors also did not conduct proper prelift planning and other required tests to ensure that the lift could be done safely, according to OSHA.
OSHA cited the utility for two willful violations and four serious violations, including not using load charts to determine the crane's minimum boom angle, not using an aerial lift, allowing the crane to operate at greater than 50 percent of the rated capacity for its configuration and for failing to conduct a trial lift of the personnel platform prior to use.
Massachusetts Bay Electrical Corp., which faces $168,000 in fines, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply or contest OSHA’s findings.