September 16, 2008

OSHA Cites Three Firms in Crane Collapse

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it issued citations to three contractors for the collapse of a tower crane in New York.

OSHA, in a statement Tuesday, said it proposed penalties totaling $313,500 for alleged violations of safety standards after investigating the catastrophic March 15 Manhattan crane collapse that killed seven people.

Cited by OSHA were Rapetti Rigging Services Inc., the crane's erector; Reliance Construction Group, the project's general contractor; and Joy Contractors Inc., the project's concrete and superstructure contractor.

Officials said Rapetti was cited for alleged problems associated with rigging the crane and lack of fall protection, while Reliance and Joy were cited for lack of fall protection, fire protection and other hazards unrelated to the crane collapse.

"Ultimately, the crane collapse was a failure to follow basic, but essential, construction safety processes," said Richard Mendelson, OSHA's Manhattan area director.