TUMWATER, WA – The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has cited and fined three companies more than $100,000 for safety violations in connection with the fatal collapse of a tower crane that was being dismantled in Seattle on April 27.
L&I's nearly six-month investigation determined that the crane collapse was caused by the companies not following the manufacturer's procedures for dismantling the structure, including prematurely removing nearly all of the pins and sleeves that helped hold the crane together. With the pins removed, the tower was susceptible to high winds that eventually toppled it. Four people were killed when the crane fell, including two workers who were at the top of the crane, and two people in cars below.
"This tragic event must not be repeated," said Joel Sacks, director of L&I. "We expect all companies to follow manufacturers' procedures and have a single point of authority overseeing crane assembly or disassembly. There has to be one person on site who knows the rules and is in charge."