Employee Injured by Defective Crane, Contractor Fined $50,400

During an inspection begun in August based on a referral, OSHA found that an employee had been injured and hospitalized as a result of a defective truck-mounted crane.

OSHA has cited Hialeah, Fla.-based Bennett Electrical Services Co. Inc. for three safety violations, including one willful, after an employee was seriously injured. Proposed penalties total $50,400.

During an inspection begun in August based on a referral, OSHA found that an employee had been injured and hospitalized as a result of a defective truck-mounted crane. While moving concrete traffic light poles with the crane, the boom of the crane separated from the truck, striking the operator in the head, which knocked him off the operator's station and onto the ground.

One willful violation with a $42,000 penalty is for failing to conduct annual inspections on a truck-mounted crane. The employer was aware of safety concerns raised by OSHA in previous citations issued in 2002 and again in 2006.

Two serious violations with $8,400 in proposed fines have been issued for allowing modifications to be made to the truck-mounted crane without the written approval of the manufacturer and allowing the crane to continue to be operated despite known deficiencies.

"Because this employer failed to provide safe equipment, a worker was seriously injured and could have been killed," said Darlene Fossum, director of OSHA's Fort Lauderdale Area Office. "This unfortunate incident illustrates why following OSHA's standards is so important. All employees deserve a work environment free from unnecessary hazards."

Bennett Electrical Services removes and replaces electrical and traffic light poles under contract with local governments and companies.

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