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Sun October 20 2019

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Contractor fined over New York crane collapse

9 Jan A contractor is facing fines of more than US$155,000 (£122,000) following last summer’s collapse of an unsecured crane at a construction site in New York City.

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Western Waterproofing Co Inc – doing business as Western Specialty Contractors – for exposing employees to serious injuries at the site. Proposed penalties of US$155,204 are faced by the contractor, which is based in St Louis, Missouri.

The unsecured mini-crane overturned and fell four stories at the site on East 125th Street on 25 June 2018. OSHA cited Western for not ensuring that the employee assigned to operate the crane was trained, evaluated and determined competent to operate the equipment; for operating the crane in excess of its rated lifting capacity; and for not verifying that the load being lifted was within the crane’s rated lifting capacity.

“This employer knowingly put workers at risk by failing to ensure that the crane was operated by a competent person,” said Kay Gee, OSHA’s Manhattan area office director. “Effective training of employees, knowledge of equipment’s limits, and correct operation of equipment are critical to preventing injuries.”

Separately, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has announced a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with Western and the indictment of the company’s project manager and superintendent on criminal charges in connection with the incident.

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