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OSHA fines Manitowoc for deaths in crane collapse

Written by Jim Hook/The Chambersburg Public Opinion | Aug 6, 2018 6:33 PM
manitowoc_cranes.jpg

A Manitowoc MLC300 lattice crawler crane works at a job site. (Photo: Manitowoc CRANES)

(Shady Grove) - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Manitowoc Cranes $14,976, the maximum amount allowed, after a 300-ton capacity crane collapsed 6 months ago at the plant in Antrim Township.

"This tragedy could have been avoided if the employer had assessed workplace hazards and used effective safety procedures to protect employees from serious and fatal injuries," said OSHA Harrisburg Area Office Director David Olah.

OSHA cited Grove U.S. LLC for exposing workers to struck-by hazards. The company placed employee work facilities too close to the crane testing area where they were in danger of being struck if there would be a failure, according to OSHA's investigation.

Employees were positioned within striking distance of prototype lattice crawler cranes, according to the investigation. A Manitowoc MLC300 lattice crawler crane had its boom and luffing jib extended in 35 mph winds while employees worked in or near the Test Pad 7 techincal control room. The crane collapsed in a 40 mph wind. Its components struck three employees trying to escape.

Chris Robison, 49, Marion, and John Marcoux, 66, Chambersburg, died the day of the accident, Feb. 2. Eight days later, Isaac Dean Notz, 38, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was pronounced. All three died due to blunt force trauma.

The first MLC300 crawler crane built in Shady Grove came off the line in February 2017. Manitowoc moved its crawler crane production in August 2016 from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania and led to the recall of about 80 experienced employees.  The local plant previously made hydraulic cranes.

Grove U.S. LLC has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers must provide safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA sets and enforces standards for working conditions and provides training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

This story comes to us through a partnership betwen WITF and The Chambersburg Public Opinion

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