17.12.2007

Maxim cited

A citation, including a $4,000 fine, has been issued to Maxim Crane Works, the owner of the mobile crane that tipped over last month at an Over-the-Rhine, Ohio construction site near Cincinnati.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, concluded its investigation on December 6 and has accused Maxim Crane of committing a "serious" violation of the agency's workplace safety regulations.

The report says that the crane that fell was much smaller than one that was used earlier in the week for the same purpose. Officials from Maxim and Turner Construction, the project's general contractor, have flatly denied the use of the smaller crane was a cost-cutting move, as several workers at the site claimed after the accident.
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According to local news reports it also says that the company "did not comply with the manufacturer's specification and limitations applicable to the operation of (the) cranes."

The citation says that the crane's lifting capacity was reached and that the operator then switched the cranes Load Moment device to override. It then says that "Added dynamics such as load rotation, and wind gust, load swing outside of operating range, and dynamics imposed by operator's attempt to recover load, during boom up motion caused the crane to be pulled over by its load."

Richard Gilgrist, OSHA's area director, would not comment only saying that Maxim had asked for an "informal conference" to discuss the facts of the investigation, which the company is entitled to under OSHA regulations. "We will listen to what they have to say," he said.

If the company is still not satisfied with OSHA's findings after the hearing, it can appeal to an administrative law judge. Maxim has said that it does not agree at all with the investigation’s findings.


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