OSHA fine for Grove/Manitowoc

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Grove/Manitowoc Cranes $14,976 - the maximum amount possible for the citation that was issued -, for the fatal incident in February at the Shady Grove plant, involving a Manitowoc MLC300 lattice crawler crane. See fatal incident at crane plant

OSHA issued the citation for exposing employees to “struck-by hazards” stating that the company had placed employee work facilities too close to the crane testing area where they were in danger of being struck should there be a failure.

The incident involved the first Manitowoc MLC300 crawler crane built at the plant, it was on the test pad with boom and luffing jib fully extended in winds exceeding 35 mph, while employees worked below – both on the test pad and in the machinery hut. The crane’s boom was brought down by a 40 mph gust, and struck three people on the ground - Chris Robison, 49, and John Marcoux, 66, both of whom died on the day, and Isaac Dean Notz, 38, who passed away just over a week later.

OSHA Harrisburg area office director David Olah said: "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.”

Grove/Manitowoc has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


steve keiper
Dear Sir,
The crane boom (550') never should have been in the air at that time with wind speeds that high.And if anybody tells you have to work like that is wrong SAFETY FIRST I know this was at factory but crane operators know the hazards of working in high wind speeds. All the classes and agencies can't be there to help you if needed.You have to say NO !!!!!

Steve Keiper
retired crane operator

Aug 29, 2018

Good Afternoon Mr Editor,

Manitowoc Cranes is an excellent company, who manufacture high quality products. Therefore the OSHA Fine of 14976 US Dollars imposed on this company for the Three Men Killed in a Fatal Crane Incident on 2nd February 2018, requires close scrutiny. As OSHA confirms yet again that Lifting Operations are inherently dangerous and always involves the defeat of gravity with every single Lift.

OSHA Citation Report number 1292380 makes interesting reading for all CEO's and confirms that a MLC 300 Crawler Crane was on Test Pad 7 at Shady Grove PA, USA when a storm occured. The Crane was rigged with 275 foot ( 83.8 metres) of Lattice Jib elevated to 81 degrees, plus a Long Luffer of 275ft (83.8 metres) set just above horizontal at 50 degrees.

During the Test Procedure a Storm occured with Wind Speeds of 35mph and a Gust of 40MPH, which caused the jib and long luffer assembly to Collapse onto Test Pad 7 Technical Control Room, which was sited within 200 feet (or 60.96 metres) of the Crane above, killing Two Men and injuring a Third who died Later of his Injuries. Thus confirming that Safety is only achieved when Outside the Fall Radius of a Crane.

Therefore as I have now researched and recorded 505 Crane Related Fatalities since 070507, it is instructive to see that these same circumstances were then replicated by Kobelco Cranes on Thursday 26th July 2018 when the Long Lattice Jib of a Kobelco 16000 Crawler Crane dropped to the ground in Takasago, Japan Killing Two (2) Men nearby.

Therefore as 505 Men, women and Children have now been killed in hundreds of crane incidents worldwide since 7th May 2007 and in the absence of any other Crane Industry Safety Initiatives, this then is my suggestion.

a) Start a Crane Safety Training Programme and call it How to Avoid Crane Incidents, by Creating a Culture of Safety.

b) Crane Safety Training Programme to include Physics on how to calculate Force, Mass and Gravity plus the Dangerous Effect of Wind Loadings on Lattice Jibs, Booms and irregular shaped loads

c) Train all Directors & Managers in RAMS procedures, in order to devise Safe Systems of Work for Cranes and Lifting Operations Worldwide.

The Manitowoc Incident above has been described as an Accident, yet Storms are Forecastable, so are wind speeds. Therefore to describe a foreseeable incident as an Accident is incorrect, because an accident, is only an ACCIDENT if it is not foreseeable, like Lightning. However if it is Foreseeable, then it is not Accidental and therefore not an Accident. Moreover the continued usage of this word perpetuates the Myth that Safety is not Manageable, which is patently untrue.

HSE in UK ( The equivalent of OSHA in USA) will confirm that the Hierarchy of Controls to Pro-Actively Manage Crane Safety is known as ERIC, that is Eliminate, Reduce, Isolate and Control all of the Hazards in Lifting Operations.

Therefore as the Employers Duty of Care to his employees and all others affected by his acts is well known, it is now highly cost-effective to set-up a Crane Safety Training programme because Worker Safety is Important, very important and much too important to leave it to chance.

I trust you would agree ?

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby

Aug 21, 2018
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