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6th August 2009
HSE Crane Safety Bulletin
As part of a review of crane planning procedures, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) consulted with the BCSA and the Precast Flooring Federation to prepare a safety bulletin that will identify the steps needed to be taken to ensure adequate consideration is given to hardstanding and outrigger loadings when using mobile cranes. The safety bulletin is to be issued by the HSE to the construction industry and will be included on their web site to promote awareness of the safety concerns relating to the positioning and set up of mobile cranes.
Health and Safety Executive Warning after Crane Overturns
10 September 2008
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned the construction industry of the need to ensure that mobile crane operations are properly planned and supervised. The warning follows HSE's prosecution of two construction companies after a 35 tonne truck mounted telescopic crane overturned, after one of the outriggers which support the crane sank into the ground.
The crane driver was forced to leap to safety and the 5.7 tonne beam that was being lifted into place narrowly missed two employees as it fell. The incident happened on the 27 February 2007 at Lingley Mere, Great Sankey, Warrington where a new fire control centre was under construction.
The main Contractor AMEC Group Ltd (Amec) of Northwich was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £9,143 costs and crane operators Leach Structural Steelwork Ltd (Leach) of Preston was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £9,143 costs at Warrington Magistrates Court
HSE Inspector Nic Rigby who investigated the case said: "This prosecution should act a warning to all those involved in crane operations. It was down to chance alone that this incident did not result in multiple fatalities. This would have been avoided had the planning and supervision of the lifting operation not been so deficient.
"The crane overturned because it was being operated, with the knowledge of both companies, in a part of the site that had not been prepared for such activities. The roadway was not wide enough to accommodate the outrigger spread of the crane.
"This failing should have been obvious to all those involved in the planning for, and the operation of, the cranes on that site. Clear warnings were ignored in the run-up to this incident about the ground bearing capacity for the use of cranes on the site. The risk assessments which had been produced were inadequate as they only considered use at a completely different part of the site".
Amec pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and Leach pleaded guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the same Act.
Notes to editors
1. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 Section 3 (1) states:
"It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety."
2. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 Section 2 (1) says:
"It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees."
3. For more information on construction safety see:
Public enquiries: Call HSE's InfoLine, Tel: 08701 545500, or write to: HSE InfoLine, Caerphilly Business Park, Caerphilly CF83 3GG. Press enquiries (Journalists only): Clive Naish, Regional Information Officer Tel: 0161 952 4517
HSE information and press releases can be accessed on the Internet:
Issued on behalf of HSE by COI News and PR North West
Health and Safety Executive (Wales)
Friday 18 July 2008
HSE Warns Firms to Ensure Adequate Preparations after Flintshire Company's Crane Collapses
Crane companies must ensure they properly plan their work to help prevent crane overturns the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) warned today.
The warning comes after Cheshire Crane Hire Ltd of Nant Road, Connah's Quay, Flintshire was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £8,842 at Wirral Magistrates' Court on Wednesday after a 60 tonne mobile crane, which was both overloaded and sited on soft ground, overturned. The incident occurred at the former Champion Spark Plug premises at Arrow Brook Road at Upton, Wirral on 29 March 2007.
HSE Inspector Neil Jamieson, who investigated the incident, said: "The company's managing director Frank Preston had estimated the weight of the tower at about six tonnes, but its actual weight was more than double that figure. He also failed to explain the type of contract to his client, nor did he ask him to sign any papers, which is essential good practice. "It is essential that for all lifting operations, proper planning - including careful assessment of the ground conditions and appropriate methods of work - should be adopted. It is fortunate in this case that nobody was hurt, but there was the potential for fatalities."
Though parked on a tarmac surface, the crane's outriggers were positioned on soft ground and it overturned whilst attempting to lift a 23 metre long steel chimney stack from the outside wall of a brick clad machinery room that was about to be refurbished. The stack fell next to the boom of the crane.
Nobody was injured, but the crane's cab crushed an adjacent electricity sub station and in subsequent days the crane's diesel and hydraulic tanks leaked out, contaminating a local brook.
Cheshire Crane Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act (HSWA) in that it failed to ensure the safety of it
Notes to editors:
1. Section 2(1) of the HSWA states that:
"It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety
and welfare at work of all his employees."
2. Information and advice on construction safety can be found at:
Issued on behalf of HSE by COI News and PR North West.
Client ref 18 July 2008
COI ref 163689P
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