OSHA works with construction company to investigate crane collapse in downtown Charlottesville

Day two of the investigation into the partial crane collapse in downtown Charlottesville is about wrapped up.
Updated: Jan. 7, 2020 at 5:54 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Day two of the investigation into the partial crane collapse in downtown Charlottesville is about wrapped up. The snow did not slow down investigators trying to find out why this happened.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is looking into whether this could’ve been operator error, poor weather, improper setup or a slew of other causes. The company in charge of construction at the 3Twenty3 construction site, Batson-Cook, is working with OSHA to find out why this crane collapsed on Monday morning.


“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.

The company says a subcontractor, who they are choosing not to identify at this time, was operating the crane during the accident. Firefighters rescued one worker who was hit by the falling metal. Batson-Cook says they make sure all of its hired subcontractors are appropriately qualified.

“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.

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.

“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.

The city would be involved in some type of oversight if the project involved explosives or something that would have a noise impact. For now, crews have closed some surrounding roads while they remove the crane over the next several days.

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.