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L&I doles out punishments for fatal Seattle crane collapse

L&I fined a trio of companies for a fatal April crane collapse in Seattle. (KIRO 7)

The Department of Labor and Industries completed its investigation into what caused a tower crane collapse that killed four people in Seattle’s Lake Union neighborhood in April.

Collapsed crane on Mercer passed two safety inspections since 2017

Since the accident, L&I has been investigating five companies.

Receiving citations were GLY Construction, Northwest Tower Crane, and Morrow Equipment. L&I found that GLY — the general contractor on-site — failed to supervise the site of the crane collapse, and that personnel were not trained to be aware of the hazards related to the disassembly process. They were fined $25,200 for three “serious violations.”

Northwest Tower Crane was cited for not following manufacturer procedures for disassembling the crane, crews that removed pins prematurely, and for those crews not being properly positioned to ensure their safety. In total, the company was fined $12,000 for a trio of its own “serious violations.”

State clears company investigated for fatal Mercer crane collapse

Morrow Equipment — the owner of the crane — netted the largest penalty, getting dinged for $70,000. L&I saddled the company with one “serious willful violation” for not following manufacturer procedures, and either knowingly ignoring or being generally indifferent to safety rules on-site. Morrow is also currently being sued for a separate crane-related incident back in 2016.

An L&I representative noted that he had never seen anything like what he had encountered over the course of the investigation.

Two of the other companies responsible for disassembling the crane — Seaburg Construction and Omega Morgan — were not found liable for the collapse.

Two of the people killed in the incident were ironworkers, and two others were in vehicles struck by the crane. Seattle Fire said six cars were crushed.

KIRO 7 Staff contributed to this report

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