Lunda Construction, Choice Construction Cited in Crane Death

January 8, 2013

OSHA has cited Lunda Construction, Black River Falls, Wis., and Choice Construction, Menomonee Falls, Wis., with a total of 10 safety citations after a truck driver was killed and another worker seriously injured.

The July 5 incident occurred when a crane collapsed at a bridge construction site on U.S. Route 41 over Lake Butte des Morts near Oshkosh, Wis. A truck driver, employed by Spancrete, died when he was struck by the boom of a crane that overturned while bridge girders were being erected with a multiple crane lift. Spancrete was not cited as a result of the investigation.

A Lunda Construction employee who was operating the crane was seriously injured when he was thrown from the cab as the crane fell. Lunda Construction is being cited for one willful and five serious violations. The willful violation is for failing to comply with crane operator standards by designating a lift director and conducting multiple crane-lift planning meetings. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The five serious Lunda Construction violations:

  • allowing a crane to travel with a suspended load
  • failing to train competent and qualified persons on their respective roles
  • failing to adequately attach the crane to the barge
  • failing to use appropriate signaling methods suitable for the site conditions
  • failing to meet the requirements of the critical lift plan.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Choice Construction was contracted by Lunda Construction to provide manpower for erecting the girders and is being cited with four serious violations for failing to develop an effective safety program, conduct competent and qualified person training and comply with the provisions of the crane operating standards, including designating a competent lift director and conducting a multiple crane-lift planning meeting.

This was the third OSHA inspection for Choice Construction, which was previously cited with two other-than-serious violations.

Lunda Construction was previously cited in October for three serious violations after a worker, who was struck by a section of crane he was assembling at a construction site on Highway 41 near De Pere, was killed. The company has contested those citations. Lunda Construction has been previously inspected by OSHA five times since 2009, resulting in the issuance of five violations.

OSHA has placed Lunda Construction in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on recalcitrant employers who endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities or job sites.

Proposed penalties for Lunda Construction total $105,000, and total $13,220 for Choice Construction.

Source: OSHA