Steel firm drops girder on estate agent

Aaron Morby 13 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

McLaren gets green light for 45-storey Leeds tower

Landmark Wellington Square scheme will see 464 flats built with 360,000 sq ft of offices
2 days ago

Heavy rain causes 1.9% construction output fall

Hopes remain undampened of a resi-led recovery this summer
2 days ago

Taziker restruture to return to profitability after £1.2m loss

Founders bought the business back from private equity after last year's loss
2 days ago

£220m London wharf homes scheme approved

285 homes to be built beside protected Albert and Swedish Wharves in Wandsworth
2 days ago

Major project veteran named civils director for Sizewell C

David Speight previously worked on Hinkley, Heathrow and HS2 client teams
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall lands £19m Milton Keynes hospital job

Crane lifts to be carefully co-ordinated to ensure air ambulance remains active
3 days ago

Clancy bolsters civils leadership team

Daniel Tonkin and Simon Hyams join as operation directors of water and infrastructure
3 days ago

Balfour names new project boss for HS2’s super-hub station

Steve O’Sullivan replaces Nigel Russell who was promoted to CEO of Balfour's HS2 ops
3 days ago

Buckingham Group supply chain hit doubles to £256m

Total owed to unsecured creditors soars as surety providers finalise claims
3 days ago

Builders demand an end to police plant bans

Call to suspend all embargoes on moving mobile cranes and large site kit
3 days ago

Green light for £65m Blackpool multiversity campus

Education campus of 350,000 sq ft will be delivered in phases
3 days ago

Vinci signs £138m Sheffield steel forge expansion deal

Sheffield Forgemasters signs landmark contract after two years of pre-construction works
4 days ago

McAlpine hires HS2 programme boss to head defence arm

Armed forces logistics expert Mike Hickson takes role as MD of defence
4 days ago

£200m carbon capture plan for Deeside site

Energy from waste operator enfinium looking to invest in North Wales plant
3 days ago

McAleer & Rushe promotes five staff to contracts directors

Design and build contractor targets £500m revenue next year
4 days ago

Consultant quartet win Government estate upgrade deal

Government Property Agency selects Arcadis, Tetra Tech, AtkinsRéalis and McBains
4 days ago

Resi towers pioneer to transform Liverpool site

Beetham founder Hugh Frost to help develop 1,200 new homes
5 days ago

Construction Manager of the Year crowned

Galliford Try's Barry Kingscote wins coveted prize: Full list of winners
5 days ago

Landsec £250m London terraced office job approved

Skanska tipped for 20-storey Hill House scheme near Fleet Street
5 days ago

Lendlease tops March contracts league

BAM and ISG rank third with big contract wins
4 days ago

Vistry strikes deal with Homes England for 1,000 units

Firm's timber frames factory will supply most of the Midlands houses
4 days ago

Morgan Sindall go-ahead to build 23-storey Salford resi job

Funding deal with CBRE allows latest project on bank of River Irwell to proceed
5 days ago

Unite Students gains planning for London and Bristol schemes

RG Group will build landmark Stratford tower and Freestone Island projects
5 days ago

Rolls-Royce gets go-ahead for 1.1m sq ft expansion in Derby

Major expansion of Raynesway campus planned to met submarine fleet orders
5 days ago

GMI Construction edges back into profit

A year of controlled consolidation helped generate £0.9m profit but cash at bank dropped to £10m
5 days ago

Balfour gets final sign-off for HMP Highland at £209m

Deal struck for delayed Inverness prison after costs rocket
6 days ago

Renew buys bridge maintenance business

Contractor boosts highways division with £5m acquisition
5 days ago

HS2 tests market for £150m mass transit job

2.4km long elevated Automated People Mover to go out to tender in 2026
5 days ago

Cardo completes fourth acquisition in a year

Expanding Welsh building maintenance specialist reaches £170m turnover
6 days ago

Watchdog clears Heidelberg takeover of Mick George

Four quarries and five ready-mix operations to be sold to meet competition concerns
6 days ago

Contractor services