Steel firm drops girder on estate agent

Aaron Morby 11 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

HS2 labour agency looks to float on AIM

£23m turnover labour supply business looks to raise funds for expansion
5 mins ago

Kane scores £29m M&E deal with Willmott Dixon

Off site works to play crucial role in major London estate contract
20 mins ago

Balfour Beatty UK construction MD to step down

Tom Edgcumbe to depart after just over a year as MD construction services in England and Wales
1 day ago

Keltbray wins first deal for former nmcn infrastructure arm

Hull waste processing contract for rescued division
20 hours ago

Crest Nicholson trebles cladding retrofit provisions to £43m

House builder revises building safety retrofit costs in face of new Government guidance
24 hours ago

BAM bags £110m refurb of iconic Covent Garden tower

Landmark Seifert-designed 15-storey Space House to get two extra floors
2 days ago

Winvic to start UK’s largest speculative shed

Ellesmere Port warehouse understood to be worth around £80m
1 day ago

Kier signs deal for £169m Luton hospital revamp

Main construction work to start this month and last until 2024
1 day ago

Willmott Dixon nabs £30m Kirklees police HQ

Work to start within next few weeks on regional police HQ
1 day ago

50 firms win £750m decarbonisation framework

Fusion21 framework to target 'whole building' works on homes and schools
1 day ago

Kier reported to be in talks to buy Tilbury Douglas

Talks reported to be at an advanced stage between both boards
2 days ago

Finance sealed for next-generation London office job

Goldman Sachs takes stake in London Bridge office project
2 days ago

John F Hunt starts giant clean-up on £110m Walsall site

Land remediation work at contaminated site will take two years
2 days ago

Build to rent boom lifts Watkin Jones profit to £52m

Surging build to rent market lifts development pipeline to £1.8 billion
2 days ago

HS2 awards £310m station lifts and escalators deal

TK Elevator signs 160 lifts and 130 escalators deal for four stations
3 days ago

Robot cutter set to revolutionise paving jobs for Eurovia

Automated system will spell end for noisy slab cutting on busy sites
3 days ago

First mass built carbon negative homes get underway

St Modwen first volume developer to build affordable carbon-negative homes
3 days ago

GMI Construction names new CEO

Lee Powell takes helm as CEO at GMI Construction in growth push
3 days ago

514-home London scheme clears final hurdle

Inland Homes declares victory after three-year planning battle over Hillingdon Master Brewer site
3 days ago

Henry Construction wins £30m Clarion housing scheme

Ravensbury estate regeneration in Mitcham is Henry's first project for Clarion
3 days ago

Lovell lands £700m homes deal with Suffolk council

Development joint venture will see at least 2,800 homes built across the county
3 days ago

Ballymore pulls 51-storey tower plan amid fire safety concern

London Fire Brigade raises concern about single staircase and fire strategy
6 days ago

New work surges as materials shortages ease

Mild weather and easing of supply chain bottlenecks lifts new work 5.7%
6 days ago

PDR Construction goes into administration

All staff made redundant as suppliers owed millions
7 days ago

Brick-laying robot gets approval from NHBC

Robot can now be used in construction of new homes covered by NHBC warranty
6 days ago

Temporary visa scheme needed for London sites

Mayor of London demands action over site skills shortages
7 days ago

Construction worker dies after fall from mobile tower

Court hears how tower wasn't configured correctly
7 days ago

Glencar wins £50m Peterborough logistics hub

Works start on trio of sheds at Kingston Park
7 days ago

Green light for £330m Woking high-rise cluster

Work to start on five blocks towards the end of 2022.
1 week ago

Countryside chief executive makes sudden exit

Major shareholder takes seat on board as first quarter trading falls below board expectations
1 week ago

Contractor services