Skip to Main

St. Marys Cement Tipped Crane Righted, Learning from Incident

"We want these guys and ladies that work for us to go home safely every day," St. Marys Cement operations manager Randy Pryor said.

A tipped over crane is causing controversy in Charlevoix County and bringing up all kinds of concerns among workers at the construction site.

A crane operated by the company S&R Enterprises tipped while lifting a load Wednesday.

It happened at a project site at the St. Marys Cement plant in Charlevoix Twp. 

The tipped crane led several workers to reach out to 9 & 10 News, saying there were other job site safety concerns, but they were worried about losing their jobs if they spoke up.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski spoke to St. Marys Cement and one of the contractors on site about the safety concerns.

"We’re looking at the way we do things. We’re evaluating what happened. Right now, we’re still trying to learn what exactly happened with the crane," Pryor said.

The tipped crane was back right side up Friday without injury.

The crane is causing quite a stir about safety during the construction work at St. Marys Cement.

Some workers told us it began after the companies IPEC and Vizer came in, but the president of IPEC tells us, that’s simply not true.

"IPEC was not involved with the crane mishap at all. You know that’s not our part of the work," IPEC president Jeff Manz said. "We’ve worked over 30,000 man hours on that site without a single safety incident."

IPEC says they’ve been inspected seven times by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and have passed 100% every time, but they do say it’s a busy job site.

"It’s very congested. There is work going on overhead and, you know, those areas are properly flagged off and if people are in areas that they’re not supposed to be, you know, that’s not us to worry about," Manz said.

St. Marys Cement says this project has increased the number of people on site from about 140 to close to 600.

"We have to look at what’s going on on a daily basis," Pryor said. "We have to analyze and we have to try to make sure that the work area is kept safe for the people that are working there."

"If we’re uncomfortable with it, we can stop the job," International Brotherhood of Boilermakers D480 local union president Chuck Klooster said. "Any hourly person or salary can stop the job. We’re never forced to do anything that we don’t feel is safe."

St. Marys Cement says every worker on site is protected by MSHA rules and are allowed to report safety concerns to them without repercussion.