Avoidable Deaths: The Rest of the Story

Disney Construction crane accident - photo by Melody Gutierrez of SFGateTwo workers were killed in Winters, California when the personnel basket they were in fell 80 feet. Cal OSHA cited Disney Construction for $106,100 after finding that

  • The cranes involved were not properly inspected
  • Workers were not trained
  • They did not have to use a suspended personnel platform (an aerial lift could have been used to place workers at work location)
  • No trial lift or load tests were performed on the basket
  • The safety latch on the crane hook did not close and lock

The wire rope used to raise and lower a drill (Kelly Line) failed and was pulled up to the crane boom head. The line had to be pulled down so it could be reattached to the drill. The line was so severely damaged that pulling it down jammed the boom tip sheave, causing the hook block holding the personnel basket to tilt. This allowed the master link on the bridle sling supporting the basket to slide off the hook because the hook safety latch was defective... and two men regrettably fell to their deaths.

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