Crane hirer fined £750,000 over fatal Battersea collapse

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
Share

Falcon Crane Hire has been fined £750,000 following the Battersea crane collapse which killed the driver and a member of the public over nine years ago.

Crane collpased after bolts sheared on slewing ring. Picture courtesy of the BBC
Crane collpased after bolts sheared on slewing ring. Picture courtesy of the BBC

Southwark Crown Court heard crane operator Jonathan Cloke, 37, fell to his death from inside the cab of the crane when it collapsed at a Barratt Homes site in Battersea in September 2006.

A section of the crane then struck and killed Michael Alexa, 23, as he cleaned his car in a neighbouring street outside the development.

The court heard how sections of the tower crane separated when 24 bolts failed due to metal fatigue.

The bolts connected the mast to the slew turret allowing the crane jib to rotate through 360 degrees. When the bolts failed the slew turret and jib separated from the mast and fell to the ground.

The Health and Safety Executive investigation into the incident, in September 2006, found Falcon Crane Hire failed to investigate a similar incident that happened nine weeks before, when the bolts failed on the same crane and had to be replaced.

HSE found the company had an inadequate system to manage the inspection and maintenance of their fleet of cranes.

Their process to investigate the underlying cause of components’ failings was also inadequate. It told the court the particular bolts were a safety critical part of the crane. The court also heard the bolts failing previously was an exceptional and significant occurrence, which should have been recognised by Falcon Crane Hire.

Mike Wilcock, HSE Head of Operations, said: “Jonathan and Michael’s deaths were tragic, needless and entirely avoidable.

“These two men need not have died had Falcon Crane Hire taken the right, decisive action when the bolts failed the first time. The company fell far short of its health and safety obligation.”

Falcon Crane Hire was also ordered to pay costs of £100,000.

Lilliana Alexa, Michael’s mother, said on behalf of her family: The memories of that day will never leave our family. We heard the crash and felt the ground shake. I found Michael and it’s an image that haunts my nightmares. If only we had stopped to chat or parked the car somewhere else he would still be alive. We know we are not to blame but it does not stop us all feeling guilt.

“The whole crane industry must learn from our tragedy and the devastation it has caused. We do not want another family to endure the same pain of losing their child.”

Latest news

BAM installs Covid killing spray tunnel on site

Workers treated with dry mist as they access major London site
2 hours ago

Plan for £270m Leeds Lisbon Square scheme

Council names developer for city centre flats, hotel and office scheme
22 hours ago

HS2 tells contractors to cut CO2 by half

Costain Skanska claims first use of zero carbon concrete in London
1 hour ago

Plans to be lodged for £200m London eye hospital

First look at new Moorfields building design as bidding starts
53 mins ago

Van Elle branches out into plant operator training

Two key plant operator card schemes back new training centre
9 hours ago

Race on for £45m Greenwich council housing scheme

Work to start on four blocks at Kidbrooke in March
18 hours ago

CityFibre calls in Bechtel to speed up £1.5bn work plan

CityFibre to award major construction contracts in coming months
1 day ago

Countryside to build private rental homes in London

Rental homes deal with Sigma and investor EQT to advance London schemes in tougher market
23 hours ago

Billington keeps in profit after 30% revenue plunge

Steelwork contractor reports orders at near historic levels
1 day ago

Watchdog finds apparent breaches in KPMG Carillion audit

Initial report sent to KPMG for comment before decision on further action
2 days ago

Winvic trials new AI site safety zone system

Workers will be warned when they stray into computer generated danger zones
1 day ago

Steve Corcoran takes helm at maintenance specialist Taziker

Former Speedy chief takes over the helm of bridge upkeep specialist in October
2 days ago

T&T resilient as revenue hits record £681m

Consultants maintains growth despite impact of Covid-19 in final quarter
1 day ago

Morgan Sindall scrambles for Stoke spitfire museum

First steel set to go up in the Autumn at Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.
1 day ago

BAM names Scottish commercial chief

BAM Construction promotes Mark Nicol to steer future growth
2 days ago

£900m Heathrow rail link bid race delayed two years

Procurement rethink as Covid delays Western Rail Link to Heathrow
2 days ago

Graham to sign off £223m Aberdeen hospital deal

Main construction likely to start in January after review into 40% cost hike
2 days ago

Billington boosted by £21m trio of steelwork jobs

Structures division secures power, manufacturing and office projects
2 days ago

Pipework firm wins £615k payout over £200m Hull job

Premier Engineering Lincoln awarded payout in dispute with MW High Tech Projects
2 days ago

Speedy trials electric taxis as tool delivery vans

Converted red taxicabs can carry two pallets up to 800kg
2 days ago

Aecom wins PM role for £700m Whipps Cross hospital

Construction is hoped to start befoe the end of 2022
5 days ago

Lendlease sells London office tower for flats revamp

Grant Lipton buys Chiswick office block to covert to 137 homes
5 days ago

10,000 jobs at risk in nuclear supply chain without Sizewell C

Contractors urge Government to back new Suffolk nuclear power station
5 days ago

Kier plunges to £273m loss

Heavy restructuring costs and building losses set Kier back
6 days ago

Tolent order book rises to £190m despite southern exit

Directors wind down loss-making southern business to focus on north and central England
5 days ago

Hull contractor writes roadworks sign in local dialect

"Yer Jerking, Merr Rerd Werks" sign unveiled by M B Roche & Sons
5 days ago

M&E firms now optimistic after worst fears not realised

Firms in positive mood even with furlough scheme drawing to a close
5 days ago

£216m deal for East Coast Main Line power upgrade phase 2

Rail Electrification Alliance, including VolkerRail and Murphy, signs contracts
5 days ago

Tender prices hold firm but likely to fall 2.5% in 2021

Mace cost consultancy forecasts bid pricing fall next year
6 days ago

Skanska chief to chair CBI construction council

Gregor Craig will succeed Sir James Wates in November
6 days ago

Contractor services