Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust

Expanding Job Opportunities for Ironworkers and their Contractors

Just wanted to say that Mark, Michael and Stuart from FMI and Trevor from PWC did an excellent job engaging the classroom in discussion each day, and had a great program format for teaching. The information they brought forward was extremely useful now as I'm sure it will be throughout my career. This was only my 2nd IMPACT course that I have attended, I would like to commend IMPACT on organizing these events for Ironworkers and contractors alike, IMPACT always put on an amazing program, and does a very good job at making these events comfortable and welcoming to attend. I plan to attend more IMPACT events as the information is always very useful and IMPACT does a great job of finding the right instructors for the occasion. I would like to thank everyone at IMPACT for the work they do to set these events up and providing the opportunity to attend these courses.

Regards,

Jacob Wicks
Chief Estimator
JCT Metals Inc.

News

NEWS(1)

After Seattle crane collapse, proposed legislation would require more oversight of construction companies

01/28/2020
By Claudia Yaw, Seattle Times staff reporter

OLYMPIA — After a fatal crane collapse last April that Washington officials deemed “totally avoidable,” state lawmakers are pushing for more regulations and bigger fines around the disassembly of tower cranes. 

The collapse in Seattle left four people dead, and was the result of workers violating safety procedures by removing pins from the crane prematurely, according to an investigation by the state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). Senate Bill 6171’s sponsor, Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, said before a public hearing Monday that she fears these kinds of violations are “becoming industry practice.”

Keiser’s bill would require a representative from L&I, which enforces workplace safety procedures, to be present at every tower crane disassembly in the state, according to a legislative analysis. Companies disassembling a tower crane would have to give the state 48 hours’ notice, and pay a fee of up to $1,000.

Keiser said that money would be deposited into the state’s Industrial Insurance program and used to compensate workers injured in crane accidents. An additional fee of $50,000 would be imposed if a violation resulted in a fatality.

Those who testified in support of the new regulations included Chris McClain, manager of US Ironworkers Local 86 union in Seattle.

“What we support specifically are any laws or policies that improve the safety on all projects in order for us to send people home safely,” McClain said. Two of the four people who died in last year’s crane collapse were ironworkers on-site, while the other two victims were driving nearby.

While Seattle has topped the national list of crane-populated cities in recent years, there are only seven crane inspectors in the state, two of whom are assigned to King County, according to L&I representative Tammy Fellin. Fellin explained that the positions require advanced training and are highly sought after.

While the bill says any newly hired inspection personnel must be assigned to the county with the most demand, it doesn’t directly address the state’s lack of inspectors.

Chris Smith, a manager at Morrow Equipment — which after the collapse was fined $70,000 by L&I for a “willful” violation  — cited that fact in his opposition to the bill.

“Is the department [going] to hire from the industry and take away some of the best trained professionals that we put a lot of effort into and train for years and years?” he asked.

Thom Sicklesteel of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, said the new regulations, including the 48-hour notice, could pose new safety concerns. That’s because situations arise when compromised cranes need to be dismantled immediately, according to Sicklesteel, who is the organization’s chief executive officer.

Sicklesteel said he testified in favor of legislation in 2007 that added new safety regulations to the construction industry following a fatal crane collapse in Bellevue. However, he says new regulations need to come from those who are more familiar with the industry than lawmakers. 

SB 6171 has not yet been scheduled for a committee vote.

See article on seattletimes.com.

  • Your IMPACT Username

    If you need further assistance, please contact the IMPACT office.

Member Sign-In

Iniciar sesión - Miembros