OSHA Investigating Crane Collapse in WV

Charlottesville, WV – OSHA has teamed up with the company’s investigators to determine the cause of a crane collapse in the city on Monday, Jan 13th.

A spokesman for Baston-Cook says a subcontractor was operating the crane during the accident. Firefighters rescued one worker who reportedly sustained a broken leg from the falling metal.

Crews secured the injured worker in a Stokes basket, a collapsible basket used in technical rescues because it is light and easily carried onto an incident site.

According to a report in The Daily Progress, the crane assisting construction of 3Twenty3, the building at 323 Second St. SE, toppled over around 8 a.m., damaging the skeleton of the building that will include a four-story parking garage beneath a five-story building.

The company confirmed that all of its hired subcontractors are appropriately qualified.

Possible causes include:

  • Operator error;
  • Poor weather; and
  • Improper setup, among others.

According to a report by NBC29, the city of Charlottesville has issued a stop-work order at the site until a structural engineer can ensure its safety.

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

Charlottesville City Spokesperson, Brian Wheeler said: “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.”