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SUPERVISOR AND CRANE FIRM FINES FOLLOW FATALITY

Lifting operation failures ended in tragedy and crane contractor pays £1/4m

Specialist crane supplier H Carruthers Ltd (formerly Konecranes (UK) Ltd), of East Kilbride and supervisor John Hamilton have been prosecuted after a worker died when he was crushed by a large steel beam on an incinerator project in Berkshire.

Colin Dickson, 38, of Lanarkshire, suffered fatal injuries when the temporary suspension points on a suspended beam failed at the Lakeside Energy from Waste installation. The 1.4 tonne beam fell 5m causing fatal injuries to his chest and fractures to his legs and back.

A team of five were installing two cranes in a new incinerator building. This included lifting two steel beams to 18m and subsequent welding to the underside of the roof beams.

The HSE investigators found that the lifting operation could have been successful if the whole process had been planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner from the outset.

Risk from lifting operation should not be underestimated 

H Carruthers Ltd (formerly Konecranes (UK) Ltd), of East Kilbride, pleaded guilty to breaching HSW Act S2(1) and was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £74,000. Supervisor, John Hamilton pleaded guilty to breaching LOLER Regulation 8(1) and was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £400.

HSE’s Inspector Karen Morris said:

“This tragic incident shows the importance of carrying out a thorough assessment of hazards and properly managing all lifting operations. This was a complex and unusual lift which went drastically wrong due to a lack of competent planning and a failure to supervise and carry out the task safely. The risks involved in such lifting operations should not be underestimated.

Health and safety law places stringent requirements on employers in these circumstances, for very good reason. This incident was entirely preventable and it should act as a reminder to others that standards need to be maintained to ensure the safety of workers at all times.”

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One Response to “SUPERVISOR AND CRANE FIRM FINES FOLLOW FATALITY”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 21st MARCH 2012 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] JH Carruthers Limited – fatal strike by falling beam:£180,000; […]