A state workplace safety inspection found a Tucson crane company violated multiple safety regulations when a man was electrocuted while installing an air conditioner earlier this year.

The incident could have been prevented if the company, DC Crane LLC, followed safety and electrical utility precautions, according to a report released this week by the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH).

The inspection found the cranes cable was too close to electrical lines without shutting off power.

There was no documentation the 26-ton crane had been inspected annually as required. In addition, the sling used to lift the 681-pound air conditioning unit was frayed and should not have been used, the inspection said.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona, the umbrella state agency over ADOSH, this week cited and fined the Tucson-based company $32,144. One of the citations is classified as willful serious, which is the most serious worker-safety violation that is levied. Willful citations are rarely given and only in cases where the inspector says employers knowingly failed to follow safety regulations.

The crane operator told us right up front that he knew he wasn’t supposed to be that close to the line, ADOSH Director Mark Norton told members of the Industrial Commission this week.

Money collected from worker safety fines goes into the states general fund. However, a willful citation that leads to a workers death opens the door under state law for an additional fine of $25,000, which goes to the workers family. The Industrial Commission voted this week to approve a $25,000 fine to the family something that hasnt happened for at least five years.

In July, 35-year-old Dalton Lee was on the roof of Spreading Threads, a non-profit clothing bank. He had hired a crane and an operator to help lift the air-conditioning unit into place.

The crane operator lowered the unit with the cable coming within two feet of electrical lines, according to the ADOSH inspection. The operator told Lee to push the unit to where it was supposed to go on the roof. The cable hit the power lines, electrocuting Lee.

Lee left behind a wife and three children.

He was a huge family man and father and a wonderful husband, said Michele Wright, co-founder of the clothing bank, in an interview with KGUN Tucson in July. She hired Lee to install a new air-conditioning unit.

ABC15 was not able to immediately reach Lees family for comment on the fines.

A man who answered the phone at DC Crane and identified himself as a co-owner of the company declined to comment.

The ABC15 Investigators have been reporting for months on issues of workplace safety, including stories about how ADOSH gives small companies reductions on their fines in cases of fatalities and how families are pushing for safety reforms.

Earlier this year, the governor appointed a new chairman and a new director to the Industrial Commission. The head of ADOSH resigned in September, and a new director was named.

Email ABC15 Investigator Anne Ryman atanne.ryman@abc15.com, call her at 602-685-6345, or connect on X, formerly known asTwitter, andFacebook.