The 15 metre girder was so heavy it partially demolished a warehouse office when slings used to attach the beam to the lifting crane failed.
Lifting specialists and crane manufacturers, Konecranes UK Ltd had been contracted to move the overhead runway beam from one end of a warehouse to the other at Siemens Energy Services, in Shields Road in the city.
Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard that when the slings failed the massive beam fell around 14 metres, narrowly missing workers and destroying an office.
Fortunately the office was empty at the time and no-one was killed or injured as a result of the incident on 14 August 2009.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed the operation had not been properly planned by Konecranes, which led to the wrong equipment being used.
Konecranes UK Ltd, of Lloyds House, Albion Road, West Bromwich, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1)(c) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,529.
After the case, HSE Inspector Andrew Woodhall, said: “This was an entirely preventable incident with the real potential to cause serious injury or even death.
“That Konecranes UK ignored the legal requirement for lifting operations to be planned properly and carried out in a safe manner is unacceptable.
“The Konecranes operatives had no advance warning of the failure of the slings and as it happened they had a narrow and lucky escape.
“Fortunately, no-one was hurt on this occasion but this alarming incident should act as a reminder to others that standards need to be maintained to ensure the safety of workers at all times.”