Crane jib collapse costs McCarthy & Stone £100,000

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
Share

Retirement homes specialist McCarthy & Stone has been ordered to pay £97,681 for safety breaches that led to a crane jib collapsing in Saffron Waldon two years ago.

Residents living near the construction site in Essex were evacuated when a 45m JOST crane jib collapsed and was left swing dangerous in high winds.

It was one of two incidents with the crane at the Sutton Road site in December 2011.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles employed its own team of crane erectors to erect the 24m tall tower crane, which had a 45m long jib.

The court heard that on 15 December crane erectors were carrying out a test lift when the lifting rope broke, causing a heavy block and seven tonne test load to fall onto a trailer.

No one was injured but witnesses described how the crane and jib recoiled violently, bucking back and forth.

A new lifting rope was installed, but the crane remained unused pending the delivery of a new “load indicator” rope.

Crane Jib Saffron Waldon JOST

But two days before Christmas, the crane’s jib collapsed, causing the 280kg hook block to swing and fall outside the boundary, partly demolishing a garage and fence belonging to a neighbouring developer.

The bent jib was left hanging vertically from the top of the tower crane.

Fortunately, both construction sites had closed for the Christmas break and no one was injured.

But emergency services evacuated 30-40 residents from nearby homes while the area was made safe before they were able to return home for Christmas Day.

HSE found that safety-critical high-tensile steel bolt connections had not been suitably installed and maintained in the crane jib.

Evidence indicated that the correct pre-tension torque was not applied to tighten these vital components and that no suitable lubrication regime was implemented.

The crane had been subjected to damage in the first incident, when the lifting rope failed.

Clearly, at this point, the company could have ensured that a thorough mechanical examination of the crane was carried out, but it failed to do so.

In fact, little more than a visual examination was carried out and the crane later collapsed after the connecting components in the lower jib failed in tension.

McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles was fined £50,000 including a victim surcharge and ordered to pay £47,681 in costs after pleading to safety breaches.

HSE Principal Inspector Norman Macritchie, said: “It is only by good fortune that no one was injured or killed in these incidents.

“The jib collapse may have been avoided had the company identified and repaired any damage caused by the earlier incident when the lifting rope broke.”

Latest news

Hill submits £800m East London estate rebuild plan

Over 1,900 homes to be built in five phase at Teviot Estate in Poplar
6 hours ago

Statom starts on £25m Bristol Airport precast car park

Major work package on transport upgrade being overseen by Griffiths Farrans JV
4 hours ago

Build problems plunge Crest Nicholson to a £31m loss

House builder unearths more defects on completed sites
9 hours ago

Rebooted Amey lifts contract win rate to 1 in 3 bids

Amey chief says firm exceeded expectations in first year under new owners
9 hours ago

BAM Nuttall fined £2.3m after worker drowned

Court hears how series of safety failures led to tragedy
22 hours ago

OCU buys Scottish civils contractor RJ McLeod

Deal takes multi-utility infrastructure specialist revenue to over £800m
1 day ago

£220m plan to restore secret wartime tunnels approved

Tunnels under High Holborn to become cultural exhibition space
1 day ago

Galliford Try wins £69m Scottish school job

Deal sealed on Paisley Grammar School project in Renfrewshire
10 hours ago

Balfour wins design for £690m Skye transmission job

Main work contract for 137km power line to be awarded later this year
1 day ago

Student and resi developer Fortis goes under

Cheshire based developer follows construction arm into liquidation
1 day ago

Construction output falls for third month running

Heavy rain and strong winds blamed for sharp fall in activity in April
1 day ago

Plan in for Leeds 27-storey block of flats

390 flats planned at former Morgan Sindall office site
1 day ago

Firms readied for £1.5bn Parliament estate upkeep deal

Invitation to tender due to go out next month
2 days ago

Amey switches kit supplier

Deal with HSS was worth £24.5m a year to rental specialist
1 day ago

Track workers scatter to avoid runaway rail trolley

Track trolley careers 1km towards work site
1 day ago

Direct delivery model pays off as Murphy profit soars to £67m

Group operating margin jumps from 3% to 5% in record year
2 days ago

Ex-Galliard boss to lead Battersea next building phase

Don O’Sullivan joins as plans advance to start phase 3C of power station redevelopment
2 days ago

£100m Digbeth 33-storey flats job out to bid

483 flats will be delivered for Clarion housing association
2 days ago

Van Elle fined £233,000 after piling rig kills driver

Court hears how tragedy was caused by poorly maintained plant
2 days ago

Renew buys utilities contractor Excalon

Infrastructure giant expand into electricity transmission market with £26m deal
2 days ago

Planning for new homes plunges to record low

Home builders call for urgent action from incoming government
2 days ago

JTRE starts £400m 21-floor London tower scheme

Office block and 64 affordable homes to be built at 220 Blackfriars Road site
3 days ago

R G Carter construction profits up despite 24% revenue fall

Selective client choice help profit jump to £6m from £1m previously
3 days ago

Refurbs power London office work to record high

London Office Crane Survey office work starts exceed 4m sq ft for record third quarter
3 days ago

Knight Build owed money for work on UK’s poshest street

Contractor takes legal action over unpaid bills on new luxury flats complex
3 days ago

Winvic ranks top of May contracts league

Large residential scheme in Leeds caps strong haul of orders
3 days ago

Bid race starts for up £95m repairs to PFI hospital

Roseberry Park Hospital in Middlesbrough hit by serious defects
3 days ago

Building Safety changes slow down construction recovery

Confused market contains paradox of falling workload and contractors claiming they are too busy
3 days ago

Wates rejigs businesses as veteran leader retires

Wates Construction Group MD Paul Chandler to retire at end of year
7 days ago

Scaffolder dies from chemical burns

Tata Chemicals Europe fined £1.125m after death of Altrad scaffolder
6 days ago

Contractor services