Texas Contractor Fined $212K in Fatal Crane Collapse
Federal workplace safety officials say a Lufkin, Texas, contractor’s failure to assemble a crane boom properly caused the crane to collapse onto a passing vehicle on Interstate 10 near Beaumont, killing the two occupants in April 2021.
OSHA cited Hemphill WBE Pile Driving Co. Inc. WITH three willful and two serious safety violations, including operating a crane beyond its rated load capacity and failing to assemble the boom properly, and proposed penalties totaling $212,599.
An OSHA investigation determined the company was installing supports for an elevated section of the highway at the time of the incident. OSHA found the operator failed to determine the correct weight of the load while using the crane to retrieve a helmet box and hammer driven 3 feet into the ground. The incorrectly assembled boom buckled and landed on the vehicle.
Incorporated in 1989, Hemphill WBE Pile Driving Co. Inc. specializes in pile driving. The contractor has approximately 11 employees.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.