State issues violations in crane death investigation

Ronald Well
Ronald Well

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A report done by Virginia's Department of Labor and Industry says on August 12, 2009, 46-year-old Ronald Well and another employee were dismantling an 80 foot, 45 ton crane. The pair pulled out the support pins before the crane was on the ground. It collapsed, crushing Well.

According to Wells' girlfriend, August 12 was his first day on the job. A citation given to Harbor Dredge and Dock indicated he had little or no experience dismantling cranes.

A second violation states Harbor Dredge and Dock employees were not wearing hard hats during dismantling operations. Both violations total $9,000 in fines.

In a statement to NBC 12 Harbor Dredge and Dock, Wells' death was the first for the company that had been in business for more than 20 years. With a little researching and we found the company had a clean safety record before this investigation.

Well's untimely death, led a state inspector to check out Harbor Dredge and Dock. An on-site investigation ended with five other non-serious violations: one for expired CPR cards, another for no fire extinguishers on a crane, and three sanitation issues. Most were corrected during inspection.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that the company contested the violations. It's unclear right now whether that $9,000 fine has been paid. We reached out to the company for comment, but haven't heard back.

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