A new rigging sling costing $40 could have prevented seven deaths.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has determined that a worn sling failed and caused the March 15th East Side crane collapse. The OSHA regional director opined that a new sling would have cost no more than $40. The worn, synthetic, web sling was two years old and had cuts and snags which existed before the collapse. See The New York Times story here and Daily News story here.
The federal agency said that the sling failure was one of three factors causing the collapse. A second factor was failing to follow the manufacturer’s specifications when raising the crane. A third factor was failure to use padding to protect the slings from the sharp edges of the crane.
OSHA charged the master rigger for failure to inspect the slings. OSHA fined him $220,000.
The OSHA fines are small comfort for the families of the dead and the injured. Fortunately, they have recourse to the courts under Labor Law 240 (1) in order to obtain fair compensation for their losses.
See our prior post on the March 15th crane collapse and Labor Law 240 (1) here.
If you have been involved in a crane or construction accident, please feel free to call us at 800-581-1434.
Mark E. Seitelman, 9/16/08, www.seitelman.com.