A crane company in Houston, whose workers were electrocuted while dismantling a construction crane too close to a power line, was appropriately charged with safety violations, according to a decision by the US Occupational Safety and Health Inspection Board released on Saturday.
Following the 2016 incident in which a TNT Crane & Rigging Inc. employee was badly burned, U.S. Labor Safety and Health inspectors reported two serious violations: Employees were exposed to the risk of electric shock from intrusion or contact power lines when disassembling the crane and placing the crane closer than “the minimum approach distance” to a power line during this operation, according to the Secretary of Labor’s filing in Washington, DC against TNT Crane & Rigging Inc.
TNT Crane and Rigging argued, among other things, that the crane was not dismantled at this point. An administrative judge agreed and dismissed the quotes on the grounds that the cited provisions “did not apply to the work TNT was doing at the time of the accident” because OSHA’s definition of assembly and disassembly was ambiguous and the inspectors did not interpret it appropriately the standards, records state.
The entire commission disagreed, stating that the Minister of Labor’s interpretation was “in line” and “we find that regulatory history supports the Secretary’s interpretation of dismantling as a process that is not limited to physical dismantling,” it said the judgment.
According to this interpretation, the task that occurred in the accident was “part of the dismantling process of TNT as it was carried out to dismantle part of the crane”. This task necessarily required the removal of the pins connecting the boom to the boom. ”The ruling states.