OSHA documents show how crane fell on West Louisville home in April

The crane crashed on to the roof of a home on Plato Terrace on April 8.
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 7:02 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Nearly eight months after a crane came crashing on to a West Louisville home, new state documents peel back the curtain on how the crane ended up resting on the home’s roof.

The crane crashed on to the home on Plato Terrace in West Louisville on April 7.

Days later, WAVE 3 News requested documents from the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. A spokesperson said the investigation would take months to complete and the information would be made available afterward.

On Tuesday, the roughly 250-page inspection was made available, and provides more insight into how the crane tipped over.

According to the documents, Percell Tree & Crane Service’s owner Michael Percell took the job to help a friend remove tree limbs from his backyard. Percell subcontracted another man, Anthony Zayas, to complete the work. The documents show Zayas made his first cut around 10:15 a.m., and the crane was then moved. Around 10:40 a.m., Zayas made a second cut and attached two tree limbs to the crane.

At that point, the documents say:

“Mr. Percell began swinging the boom to the right at a 60 degree angle. During this process, the concrete sidewalk where one of the outriggers has been set up broke, causing the outrigger to sink into the ground and throwing the crane off balance. The crane then tipped over onto a neighboring house coming to rest on the roof.

The company estimated that the weight of the limbs was between 300 and 450 lbs. The response document also stated that the maximum length of the boom was 105 feet, although this appeared to be a misstatement as both the manual and the company’s website indicated the max length for such a boom was 103 feet.

Per the load chart, at 59 degrees (used as the weight for 60 degrees wasn’t listed and 59 would be close, but also more restrictive) and a max length of 103 feet, maximum weight capacity of the crane would be 3,350 lbs. If the load was assumed to be 450 lbs., then the load would only have been 13% of the maximum load. As such, it was unlikely that the crane was overloaded.”

Still, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Percell in relation to the incident.

The citation reads:

“On or about 4/8/2021, Percell Tree & Crane Service LLC did not keep certification records for monthly inspections on critical items.”

The documents state Percell claimed to conduct daily and monthly inspections of the cranes, but did not document them.

He was not ordered to pay a fine.

WAVE 3 News reached out to Percell’s attorney for comment. He told WAVE 3 News he wanted to speak with his client before issuing a statement.

WAVE 3 News also sent an email to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, asking for more clarification on the inspection.

Nobody was hurt during the incident in April.

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