NY Construction Company Fined $165,000 after Crane Collapses on Yacht

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) fined Concavage Marine Construction Co., a marine contractor based in Port Chester, New York, $165,000 in May 2014 for a crane accident that occurred over a year ago in Stamford, Connecticut. The accident damaged a $120,000 yacht. The company was issued sixteen citations for crane safety violations. OSHA inspectors concluded that the contractor failed to perform daily, monthly and annual crane inspections that could have prevented the accident from occurring. In addition, OSHA cited the company for improper set up, operation and maintenance of the crane. Officials also stated that the company, which was operating a crane on a barge, failed to adequately secure the crane to the barge and did not post necessary load charts pertaining to the crane’s lifting capacity inside of the crane’s cab.

boats.jpgIn May 2013, Concavage Marine Construction was performing crane work at the Avalon Bay Marina in Stamford, Connecticut to repair pilings that had been damaged during Hurricane Sandy. As the crane was attempting to life a piling, its boom fell over backward and hit a sailboat and landed upon an expensive 47-foot yacht. OSHA investigators determined that the crane lacked several pieces of equipment that are necessary to hold the boom in place. Had the crane been inspected as required, the missing equipment could have been easily installed.

Jacqui Brindley, the manager of the marina, remarked, “The balance of the crane got out of kilter and the crane began to slip off the barge and the boom landed on a 47-foot powerboat.” Had the boom not landed on the yacht, the crane would have fallen into the water, Brindley pointed out.

Workers from the construction company had to use another barge-crane to move the crane that had nearly collapsed into the water. The process took workers an entire day to right the fallen crane.

Varina Wakeman, the owner of the damaged powerboat, sated that she was happy nobody was in the boat at the time of the accident. She stated that her insurance company will pay for the damage. She commented, “I’m stunned, frankly. It’s kind of ironic that we survived Sandy and it’s the repair from the hurricane that did the damage.”

Discussing the crane accident, Robert Kowalski, a director with OSHA, remarked, “This crane should not have been operating. 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.”

The OSHA citations maintain that the crane company showed indifference toward worker safety and failed to prevent an accident that could have resulted in serious injuries or death.

Website Resource: Crane collapses on yacht in Stamford Harbor, ctpost.com, May 22, 2013

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