• Robert Spicer

Battersea crane collapse: two dead: £750,000 fine for crane company

Crane collapse: worker and member of the public killed: company fined £750,000

Health and Safety Executive v Falcon Crane Hire Ltd (2016) Southwark Crown Court, March 15

Falcon Carne Hire Ltd, a national crane company, has been fined following the death of two people when a crane collapsed.

Significant points of the case

  • In September 2006 sections of a tower crane on a housing development in Battersea separated when 24 bolts failed from metal fatigue. The crane operator was killed when he fell from the crane. A member of the public was killed when the crane fell onto him.

  • The company had not investigated a previous similar incident when the bolts failed and had to be replaced.

  • The company had an inadequate system to manage the inspection and maintenance of its fleet of cranes. Its process to investigate the underlying cause of components’ failings was also inadequate. The bolts were a safety-critical part of the crane. Their previous failure had been an exceptional and significant occurrence which should have been recognised by the company.

Falcon Cranehire Ltd was fined £750,000 plus £100,000 costs for breaches of sections 2 and 3, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees and non-employees.

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