Missouri Crane Company Fined in Fatal Accident

September 11, 2008

The crane company involved in a fatal accident at Kansas City Power & Light’s Iatan power plant in Platte County has been fined $14,000 for two serious violations.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration cited Maxim Crane Works, based in Bridgeville, Pa., for two serious violations in the May 23 collapse of one of its cranes at the plant near Weston, about 30 miles northwest of Kansas City.

One violation was for not following the manufacturer’s specifications for the crane and the other was for not barricading off the swing radius of the crane, Dan Corcoran, OSHA spokesman in Kansas City said pm September 9. Each violation incurred a $7,000 fine. The fines were assessed on Sept. 4.

A spokeswoman for Maxim Crane did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Construction worker Terry Eugene Stimpson, 23, of Peculiar, was killed and three others were injured when the boom for the 800-ton crane collapsed as it was being lowered after it was determined that the wind speed was unsafe.

Maxim Crane was a subcontractor for Alstom Power Service, which is the lead contractor on the site, said Katie McDonald, a spokeswoman for KCP&L. No Maxim Crane employees have been at the site since the accident, she said.

The crane had been used to install pollution-control equipment on Iatan 1, the operating power plant, next to a second unit under construction by KCP&L.

The crane could lift about 150 tons and its boom extended about 15 stories high, according to KCP&L. It was the largest crane at the site and had been in use for about a year.

Construction on the new coal-fired plant started over a year ago. Despite the accident, the plant is expected to meet the original goal of opening by summer 2010, McDonald said.

Stimpson’s widow and parents have sued the crane’s operator and KCP&L, alleging negligence and a wrongful death.

Two workers also were killed at the plant on May 9, 2007, when a 3-inch high-pressure water line ruptured. Two others were burned when water in the pipe flashed to steam.

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