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    BEAM FROM CRANE CRASHES THROUGH ROOF

    Public narrowly avoid serious injury as lifting operation goes wrong

    The Lancashire Evening Post has reported staff in the offices of a Preston estate agents were fortunate to avoid injury when a “huge metal girder” fell three floors into the agents premises below.

    The beam fell from an adjacent construction site where a hotel and restaurant complex are being built. It is reported that the beam was being lifted by crane when it slipped and fell. Two staff in the office were said to have been “lucky to escape with their lives”.

    Further work on the site was brought to a halt. It is said to be the “second time HSE has been called in a month after a piece of metal became dislodged over Christmas”.

    An eyewitness said:“I just heard a massive noise and saw it coming through the roof. I was at the desk and Claire was on the phone. She told me to get out of the office. I didn’t know whether there were other things coming down and because it was so big I thought it might take the roof down.

    It happened very quickly. It was very scary. I did not have a clue what the hell it was, even when it came through. It was only about two or three metres from where we sat. Where it came down is where customers come in. There are always prams and people standing there. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”

    An HSE spokesman said: “It is something we are aware of”

    Comment: Many lifting operation accidents involve loads becoming insecure and falling. Raising awareness at the point where the hazard exist and can be controlled can assist.

    Trogan Horse Safety Messages provide one way of raising awareness.

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