Steel firm drops girder on estate agent

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
Share

East Yorkshire steel contractor Pocklington has been fined £15,000 after a 4m beam crashed through the roof of an estate agents, narrowly missing two office workers sat at their desks.

The steel beam fell about 25m from a crane and smashed through three floors of Garside Waddingham estate agents in Preston last January.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard that two women office workers were working in the ground floor shop when the 4m long girder crashed through the ceiling into their office.

The girder was one of 18 similar steel beams to be lifted by the crane that morning on a construction site for a new hotel on Fox Street in Preston.

Bridlington-based Pocklington Steel Structures had spent the morning lifting girders at a 45-degree angle to fit into the new hotel structure.

But HSE, which brought the prosecution, found the contractor had failed to ensure the girders could not slip out of the choke-hitched chains by attaching shackles in holes drilled through them.

The investigation concluded the beams should have been lifted when level and not at an angle.

Anthony Polec, the investigating inspector at HSE, said: “It must have been terrifying for the staff on duty in the estate agents that day when they suddenly heard and then saw a steel girder crashing down next to their desks, right where the public normally stand.

“It was only by chance that the incident happened on a Saturday when fewer staff were at work, and that no members of the public were in the building at the time.

“For such a high lift, near to people on the ground, it is simply not good enough to wrap chains around girders, in a so-called choke hitch, without securing them.

“Two office workers had a lucky escape but several people could easily have been killed. It’s vital construction companies make sure they use cranes safely to prevent similar incidents happening again.”

Pocklington Steel Structures admitted safety breaches that put the lives of workers and the public at risk. In addition to the £15,000 fine, it was also ordered to pay £6,706 in costs.

Over the past decade there have been more than 60 accidents involving cranes, including nine deaths and 25 serious injuries.

Latest news

Graham hospital site hut complex destroyed by blaze

Site offices ravaged by fire which took eight hours to get under control
4 hours ago

Mace wins £150m over-station job at Liverpool Street

Latest win from Aviva Investors and Allianz Real Estate following earlier Moorgate contract
5 hours ago

Buyers see brighter days ahead despite resi slump

"Construction can see a path through for better outcomes in 2023"
8 hours ago

Australian firm to buy £300m gigaplant backer Britishvolt

New owner vows to complete giant factory in Northumberland
12 hours ago

Project delays curb Ardmore growth ambitions

Refurb and housing specialist sees profit fall after challenging year of delays and supply chain failures
11 hours ago

Scaffolders and sparks strike at antibiotic plant

Engineering construction workers down tools in bonus pay row
11 hours ago

McAlpine bags £1bn Sellafield concrete structures deal

Contractor signs 17-year concrete structures and groundworks framework
21 hours ago

Moving in to new markets paying off for McLaren

Contractor carving out new niche as leading player in heavy refurbs
3 days ago

Heavy materials sales fall amid slowdown in starts

Light side product sales grow helped by pace of activity for refurbs and energy-efficient retrofits
11 hours ago

Plan to add retentions record to payment reporting law

Government consults on tougher reporting to include disputed invoices and retention policies
3 days ago

Morgan Sindall wins £88m Beckton DLR depot upgrade

Delayed work to start on Docklands Light Railway train maintenance depot in East London
3 days ago

Hare and Severfield win £250m Sellafield deal

Country's two biggest steelwork contractors secure 17-year framework
4 days ago

Max Steward returns to head up ISG’s Agility fit-out arm

Former ISG project director returns after three years to take up MD role
4 days ago

McLaren wins massive Portland House refurb

Construction to start this year on £380m revamp of 28-storey building in central London
4 days ago

Green light for £275m HS2 Midlands nerve centre

Trio of contractors battling it out to win huge new depot near Birmingham
4 days ago

Winners named for Government £10bn offsite framework

29 firms secure places on mega framework for schools, healthcare, defence and justice jobs
5 days ago

ISG, Amey and Costain now industry’s quickest payers – list

Average payment times from main contractors slip by a day
5 days ago

Staff at Outco Surfacing start looking for new jobs

Administration notice filed two years after acquisition of NMC Group
4 days ago

£4.75m building work provision tips Higgins into the red

Partnerships business counts cost of changes to building safety rules
4 days ago

John F Hunt snaps up London temporary works design firm

Demolition contractor buys geotechnical and structural engineering design specialist RKD Consultant
4 days ago

Vital Energi lands £13m package at Plumstead regen site

Specialist will start on site this summer helping to transform the former home of Arsenal FC
4 days ago

Galliford Try to start £14m Scunthorpe Market scheme

Firm will build NHS staff accommodation and offices in two phases
4 days ago

Vast £500m British Library expansion go-ahead

London Mayor still needs to give final nod to 800,000 sq ft extension at St Pancras site in London
6 days ago

Wates names new chief executive

Cork-born Eoghan O’Lionaird to join later this month
5 days ago

Keltbray director joins Barhale as North East chief

Mark Wood heads operations in Yorkshire and North East England
5 days ago

Major London City building green deep retrofit approved

St Bride’s Tavern near Fleet Street will be demolished for the building expansion
6 days ago

Gilbert Ash lands starring role in £38m Welsh theatre revamp

Contractor to start work this year on Theatr Clwyd upgrade
5 days ago

Property clients to ramp up spending on decarbonising

Survey reveals nearly half of property chiefs plan to speed up spending on net-zero programmes over next twelve months
5 days ago

Average self employed labour rates top £1,000 a week

Average weekly earnings reach high for skilled trades
6 days ago

BAM wins £49m Harrogate Convention Centre revamp

Local council hopes to sanction work start this autumn
6 days ago

Contractor services