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MOBILE CRANE PROSECUTION

Major contractor and specialist fined after mobile crane overturn 

Two construction companies have been ordered by magistrates to pay almost £40k after a mobile telescopic crane overturned when the ground gave way beneath an outrigger. The crane driver leaped to safety and the beam being lifted narrowly missed two nearby workmen. See photographs.

The main Contractor was AMEC Group Ltd and the crane operators Leach Structural Steelwork Ltd (Leach) of Preston. The HSE investigating Inspector said: “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.” he went on to add “clear warnings were ignored in the run-up to this incident about the ground bearing capacity for the use of cranes on the site.”

Comment: Failure to properly assess ground-bearing capacity is the biggest single cause of mobile crane incidents. It is vital that thorough assessments are carried out to establish the loads imposed on outriggers and the load bearing capability of the ground. This is sometimes not an easy task but it is always essential one.

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