Crane hirer fined £750,000 over fatal Battersea collapse

Aaron Morby 2 months ago
Share

Falcon Crane Hire has been fined £750,000 following the Battersea crane collapse which killed the driver and a member of the public over nine years ago.

battersea
Crane collpased after bolts sheared on slewing ring. Picture courtesy of the BBC

Southwark Crown Court heard crane operator Jonathan Cloke, 37, fell to his death from inside the cab of the crane when it collapsed at a Barratt Homes site in Battersea in September 2006.

A section of the crane then struck and killed Michael Alexa, 23, as he cleaned his car in a neighbouring street outside the development.

The court heard how sections of the tower crane separated when 24 bolts failed due to metal fatigue.

The bolts connected the mast to the slew turret allowing 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 investigation into the incident, in September 2006, found Falcon Crane Hire failed to investigate a similar incident that 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.

Mike Wilcock, HSE Head of Operations, said: “Jonathan and Michael’s deaths were tragic, needless and entirely avoidable.

“These two men need not have died had Falcon Crane Hire taken the right, decisive action when the bolts failed the first time. The company fell far short of its health and safety obligation.”

Falcon Crane Hire was also ordered to pay costs of £100,000.

Lilliana Alexa, Michael’s mother, said on behalf of her family: The memories of that day will never leave our family. We heard the crash and felt the ground shake. I found Michael and it’s an image that haunts my nightmares. If only we had stopped to chat or parked the car somewhere else he would still be alive. We know we are not to blame but it does not stop us all feeling guilt.

“The whole crane industry must learn from our tragedy and the devastation it has caused. We do not want another family to endure the same pain of losing their child.”

Latest news

WSP swoops to buy rival consultant Sweett

£24m deal sees WSP continue on the acquisition trail
3 hours ago

Swansea Tidal Lagoon developer dumps Chinese contractor

Swansea Tidal Lagoon developer to retender £300m sea wall contract
20 hours ago

Cleveland Bridge UK returns to profit after four years of losses

New management team turns steelwork contractor around with £2.5m profit
3 hours ago

Leaking mobile crane closes London Blackwall Tunnel

Traffic chaos across South London as contractors battle to resurface damaged road
16 hours ago

GPE gears up for two more London starts despite Brexit fear

Gt Portland Estates warns over ‘unhelpful’ EU stalemate
3 hours ago

Sixteen firms win national £1.5bn RE:FIT framework

National retrofitting scheme to lower public sector energy bills
4 hours ago

J Murphy joins trade body Build UK

Abestos removal firms also sign up to newly-former contractors' association
3 hours ago

Forrest to build £12.6m Manchester resi scheme

Construction to start this month on twelve-storey scheme
1 hour ago

Didcot recovery operation hit by further delays

Bodies of disaster victims still not returned to their families after three months
12 hours ago

Brexit fears send site wages soaring to £1,000 a week

Bricklayers now earning £25 an hour as skills shortages set to intensify if UK votes to leave Europe
1 day ago

Small companies being left behind by “BIM divide”

Smaller firms missing out on the benefits of computer modelling warns Morgan Sindall
22 hours ago

Local contractors urged to chase £6bn schools deal

SME leaders encourage member firms to go for places on massive education framework
1 day ago

Renew hits acquisition trail as profits soar

Engineering services specialist delivers record results in first six months
1 day ago

Green light for £2.6bn Scottish windfarm

Construction to start this year on huge infrastructure investment
2 days ago

Skanska jv wins £100m National Grid Humber tunnel

Gas pipeline will be the longest in a tunnel, inserted in a single string in the world
2 days ago

New finance director for Clugston

Ian Pattison joins from Aim-listed office services group Restore
1 day ago

Gilbert-Ash seals £21m Oldham theatre revamp

Work to start on Oldham Coliseum and library revamp
1 day ago

Demolition starts for £400m Marble Arch Place

Brookfield Multiplex will replace 1960s Hyde Park tower with mixed-use development
2 days ago

Manchester Uni suspends £170m student halls as bids soar

University goes back to the drawing board as builders fail to meet target price
2 days ago

Wates lands £30m Farnborough exhibition centre job

Construction to start in September to expand home of famous airshow
2 days ago

Famous film labs to be turned into £120m resi scheme

Weston Homes to start revamp of Denham site where Star Wars and James Bond were created
2 days ago

Farrans bags £33m London special needs school

Oaklands 224-pupil special needs school will be built in Hounslow
2 days ago

Rowecord returns to structural steel fabrication

Group's Braithwaite Engineers business sets up new facility in Port Talbot
2 days ago

ISG wins Oxford Uni laboratory scheme

Work due to start in next few weeks on the complex new-build and refurbishment project
2 days ago

Russells to start Manchester £40m Axis resi tower

Work set to start on 28-floor block of flats almost a decade after plans first approved
2 days ago

Jail for phantom house builders

Fraudsters swindled tax man out of £500,000 for bogus building materials
2 days ago

Northern Line Tube Extension cost to soar by £240m

Battersea Power station developer in talks with TfL over who should foot major design change bill
5 days ago

Builders confirmed for £14bn Wylfa nuclear power station

Hitachi, Bechtel and JGC Corporation JV signs deal for Anglesey project
5 days ago

Bid race starts for £135m Dover Harbour revamp

Western Docks construction programme to start before the end of the year
5 days ago

Construction employers in “final” 5.25% pay offer

Contractors claim they have been 'pushed to the limit" during pay negotiations
5 days ago

Contractor services