Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fmr. Iatan Crane Operators:
Accident Was Inevitable.

The operators said a lot of lip service was given
to safety.

Two former crane operators at the Iatan Two Plant said they both
walked off the job last year after repeatedly complaining that not
enough was being done to keep people from getting hurt.

The men didn't operate the crane that tipped over on Friday, but
they did operate other cranes on the Iatan job site.

They agreed to talk to FOX 4 because they're upset. They said the
company, Alstom Construction, had plenty of warnings there were
serious safety problems, but ignored them.

"The way things were going up there it was inevitable," said Greg
Hurst, crane operator.

Hurst and Mike Wimmer have been operating cranes more than
60 years. Both worked for Alstom on the Iatan Two site until last
December. That's when they said they walked off the job because
they didn't feel safe.

"We had some issues with one of the cranes I was running," said

He said the gigantic boom on his crane would suddenly start moving
without him controlling it. He said it was just one of the series of
safety concerns he'd been having since he started working for
AlstomConstruction at the Iatan Two Plant.

"I told them I wasn't running it like that. It's not supposed to operate
like that and their answer was we'll take you off of it and put
somebodyelse on it," said Hurst.

Who did they put on it? Mike. Mike said he had problems with the
crane suddenly booming down for no reason.

"That's pretty serious. Like if your car just takes off and goes where
it wants to. It's not a good thing," said Wimmer.

He said Alstom Construction Company wanted him to keep driving
it anyway.

"Go ahead and run it like it was, and, I said 'No.' I don't need it. I'm
gone," said Wimmer.

Both men said they walked off the job that same day.

"As a crane operator, you are pressured into doing things you
don't want to do sometimes and you have to draw that line," said

FOX 4 has calls into Alstom Construction. But, has not heard back.

Kansas City Power & Light said it always has its safety experts on
the construction site. But, the crane operators told FOX 4 they
thought a lot of lip service was given to safety. But, there was no
real action.

Linda Wagar, FOX 4 News

The above article indicates, through two former crane
operators on the project, that the contractor doesn't have
a good record of performing required safety inspections and
fails to address safety items that are noted by the operators.
If this proven the case, OSHA should come down hard on them
for exposing all their workers on this site to dangers of
unsafe lifting equipment. OSHA Standards clearly spell out
inspections to cranes and requirements for recording these
inspections. Also, it is required that unsafe items noted in
these inspections be corrected IMMEDIATELY before the crane
is placed back into service.

This doesn't take much Horse Sense to follow these require
ments instead of going the Donkey way and wind up getting
workers killed on their job sites.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The safety equipment and requirements by OSHA are not used at Iatan construction site.I to am a crane operator that refuses to go back to their site.