Seattle to Improve Tower Crane Disassembly Regulations

January 21, 2020
Tower crane against a white sky and clouds.
Four people were killed when a tower crane fell from the top of a six-story building in Seattle last April.

Seattle lawmakers are pushing for more regulations and bigger fines around the disassembly of tower cranes after a fatal crane collapse last April that was deemed “avoidable,”  the Seattle Times reports. 

The bill would require a representative from L&I, which enforces workplace safety procedures, to be present at every tower crane disassembly in the state. According to the article, companies disassembling a tower crane would have to give the state 48 hours’ notice, and pay a fee of up to $1,000. 

That money would be deposited into the state’s Industrial Insurance program and used to compensate workers injured in crane accidents. An additional $50,000 fee would be imposed if a violation resulted in a fatality. 

The article reports that while Seattle has topped the national list of crane-populated cities in recent years, there are only seven crane inspectors in the state. While the bill requires newly hired inspection personnel to work in the county with the most demand, it does not directly address the state’s lack of inspectors.

The proposal, Senate Bill 6171, has not yet been scheduled for a committee vote.

Source: The Seattle Times