The New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau is investigating after a wire on the massive crane at Intel’s Rio Rancho plant broke, causing part of the crane to collapse.
An onsite inspection was conducted by OHSB personnel Thursday noon, according to OHSB spokesperson Matthew Maez.
“Investigators do not believe that any serious harm or injury occurred to the workers on the site,” Maez said.
Intel issued a statement to the Rio Rancho Observer that confirmed the incident: “The safety and well-being of our employees and those who work on our campus is of the utmost importance to us. Earlier today, a wire from a crane broke on site, and there were no serious injuries as a result of the incident. We are currently investigating the incident and are committed to providing a safe and secure workplace for everyone on our campus.”
The crane is part of a $3.5 billion project by Intel to expand production at the Rio Rancho plant, Intel Communications and Media Manager Katelynn Loughrin previously told the Journal in an email. Construction has been underway since 2021.
The crane stands at 450 feet and was described as “one of the largest land-based mobile cranes in the world,” according to Loughrin.
“Now you need a crane for the crane,” one person posted on Albuquerque’s subreddit page.
OHSB received a complaint about this worksite on October 2022, but after reviewing industry standards in regard to fall protection for crane operators, it was determined that it did not merit a violation, Maez said. The complaint was closed in February.