Following the tragic loss of lives after a crane collapse in another state, concern was raised about safety issues nationwide. One individual has more than 40 years of experience in the industry, including some years working as a crane operator and technician. He was certified as an inspector by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and also by the safety authorities of the state in which the recent collapse claimed the lives of construction workers.
In 2008 he had to climb down a 460-foot high machine prior to it being disassembled. Apparently, all the bolts on the mast had been loosened to speed up the dismantling process. He left the construction site and claimed his warnings were disregarded. When two workers were killed in a similar collapse in another state in 2012, he determined that the bolts had not only been loosened but also removed prematurely. He sounded the alarm publicly about the dangers of these shortcuts that were found to be common practice by dismantling crews.
This inspector also revealed that the recent crane collapse in Seattle happened because the mast was vulnerable to the wind due to the fact that all the mast pins had been removed. Even the bolts holding the cab and slew-ring in place were taken out in advance. The safety advocate says he hopes the industry will heed his warnings this time.
Hopefully, this will lead to strict compliance with safety standards when it comes to the dismantling of construction equipment. Construction workers in California who suffered crane-related injuries can claim workers' compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Families of workers who were killed in workplace accidents can also file claims with the state-regulated insurance program for coverage of end-of-life expenses and a wage replacement package.