Crane hirer fined £750,000 over fatal Battersea collapse

Aaron Morby 8 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

Hill submits £800m East London estate rebuild plan

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

Statom starts on £25m Bristol Airport precast car park

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

Build problems plunge Crest Nicholson to a £31m loss

House builder unearths more defects on completed sites
7 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
8 hours ago

BAM Nuttall fined £2.3m after worker drowned

Court hears how series of safety failures led to tragedy
20 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
9 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