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< Here is update on LyondellBasell Refinery Crane collapse – after OSHA investigation on July accident that killed 4 workers – the Fed’s have charged Deep South Crane & Rigging with serious safety violations – CER>
Crane operator was inadequately trained
04:11 PM CST on Saturday, January 17, 2009
HOUSTON — Federal officials have charged a Baton Rouge company with serious safety violations in connection with a crane collapse that killed four workers at a Houston oil refinery last year.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued three citations, including six serious, one repeat, and one other-than-serious violation against Deep South Crane and Rigging following an OSHA investigation into the July 18 collapse at a LyondellBasell refinery. The 30-story-tall craneone of the worlds largest mobile cranestoppled over, killing two employees and two crane operators. Seven other people were injured.
Not only was the crane operator inadequately trained but the project superintendent did not ensure the crane did not reach hazardous conditions, Mark Briggs, OSHAs area director for its Houston South Area Office, said in a statement. If OSHAs regulations and industry standards had been followed, it is possible this tragedy could have been prevented.
Deep South officials said in a statement they have cooperated fully with the OSHA investigation.
This was a very tragic event, and despite our initial concerns about OSHAs findings, we are committed to doing all that we can to learn from the event and ensure it never happens again, spokeswoman Margaret Landry said.
The OSHA citations include six serious violationsissued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard. Those violations include failing to ensure that load rating charts were secured to the cab; the charts included the limitations and warnings for stability of the crane; the controls were labeled in the cab of the crane; and employees were protected from falling on walking-working surfaces.
OSHA also charged Deep South with failing to provide adequate training and ensure that the crane operator was qualified to operate the crane.
The violations carry $71,500 in penalties. The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHAs area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.