After a Crane Collapsed in Charlottesville, Investigators Are Still Looking for the Cause

On Monday of this week, a crane partially collapsed in downtown Charlottesville and partially injured an employee. Investigators teamed with OSHA to figure out what happened.

OSHA is working with construction company Batson-Cook to figure out why a crane partially collapsed Monday morning. The investigation has been ongoing since Monday, and snow and cold have not scared off investigators from getting to the bottom of it.

OSHA is working to figure out if the crane’s collapse was due to operator error, poor weather, improper setup, or a slew of other causes. The construction site has since been closed by the city of Charlottesville with a stop-worker order at the site until a structural engineer can ensure its safety.  

“We're committed to safety. We're cooperating fully with the investigation and are anxious to get to the bottom of what happened,” Senior Vice President & General Manager of Batson-Cook’s Charlotte Division Curt Rigney said.

One of the company’s subcontractors was working on site at the time of the accident, and one worker was even hit by falling metal. The worker reportedly sustained a broken leg.

“We hire the subcontractor who should be appropriately qualified, and they're responsible for you know whatever requirements they need to install their work,” Rigney said.

In the state of Virginia, localities are not required to inspect, review, or monitor cranes at a construction site. The state does, however, have some oversight over some heavy equipment.

“Virginia regulations do require larger cranes, the tower cranes that an inspection be done by a third party after the crane has been installed. Such an inspection would've been done at the CODE project, but that's not required for the moveable, crawler cranes,” Charlottesville City Spokesperson Brian Wheeler said.

Until investigators identify a cause of the accident, the next few days will just involve the closing of some surrounding roads while the crane is removed.

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2020

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