OSHA takes over investigation of Ohio River Bridges Project cran - WDRB 41 Louisville News

OSHA takes over investigation of Ohio River Bridges Project crane collapse

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now leading the investigation into the collapse of a crane during construction of a new Ohio River bridge last month.

OSHA’s Nashville office, which oversees workplace safety on navigable waters in Tennessee and Kentucky, took over the inquiry on February 23, four days after a crane working on the eastern bridge toppled into the river.

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet, the agency that enforces workplace safety standards in the state, began investigating and was on the scene the day of the incident before notifying officials in Nashville, Cabinet spokesman Jarrad Hensley said. The state also has turned over the information it gathered, he said.

Bill Cochran, OSHA's Nashville area director, said the investigation could take up to six months.

“I don’t see it being any time soon,” he said.

No one was injured when the crane collapsed at the site in Prospect, Ky., operated by WVB East End Partners, a group of companies hired by Indiana to build the upriver portion of the $2.3 billion Ohio River Bridges Project. One worker fell into the river but was quickly rescued.

A project official at first blamed a mechanical failure, but a representative of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 181 claimed the crane should have been shut down because of high winds.

OSHA’s Nashville office also investigated a 2014 incident on the downtown portion of the bridges project, declining to issue citations against Walsh Construction after three workers fell into the river while trying to retrieve a boat that came loose.

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