Crane hire company sentenced after death of two men


2 mins

Posted on 17 Mar 2016

A national crane hire company has been sentenced for failings that led to the death of two men as a crane collapsed.

The crane operator died after falling from the crane as it collapsed. It fell on to a member of the public and also killed him.

Sections of the tower crane separated when 24 bolts failed due to metal fatigue.

The 24 bolts were a significant safety feature on the crane’s slew ring, which connected the mast (tower) to the slew turret. This allows the arms of the crane (jib) to rotate through 360 degrees. When the bolts failed the slew turret and jib separated from the mast and fell to the ground.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident, found Falcon Crane Hire Ltd did not investigate a similar incident which happened nine weeks before, when the bolts failed on the same crane and had to be replaced.

HSE found the company had an inadequate system to manage the inspection and maintenance of their fleet of cranes. Their process to investigate the underlying cause of components’ failings was also inadequate. It told the court the particular bolts were a safety critical part of the crane. The court also heard the bolts failing previously was an exceptional and significant occurrence, which should have been recognised by Falcon Crane Hire.

Falcon Crane Hire Ltd were fined £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £100,000 for breaching Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act.

Recommendations 

  • Plant must be inspected regularly for wear and tear 
  • Always investigate a near miss or dangerous occurrence and ensure preventative and corrective measures are in place to ensure the safety of the plant
  • Doyle Clayton can support your business with providing health and safety advice and support. Please contact Sally Beck for further information.

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