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DIRECTOR AND CONTRACTOR FINED OVER CRANE DEATH

Crawler crane overturned on poorly managed construction site in London

Harris Calnan Construction Co. Ltd and director Neil Harris have been ordered to pay over £188,000 in fines and prosecution costs following the death of a worker on a construction London in March 2009.

Craig Page was working on the site in Denning Road when a mini-crawler crane was in the process of lifting a skip containing liquid concrete, onto the site. The skip overturned and the boom of the crane struck Mr Page causing crush injuries to his upper body. He died at the scene.

HSE investigators found that the company failed to properly plan or supervise lifting operations on the site. The Central Criminal Court heard the site was “poorly managed” by the company who failed to ensure the lifting operation was carried out safely.

Lifting operation far in excess of the crane safe working parameters

Harris Calnan Construction Co. Ltd, of Winchester, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 8(1)(c) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. It was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £66,244.

A director of the firm, Neil Harris, pleaded guilty by virtue of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to regulation 8(1)(a) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. He was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.

HSE Inspector, Dominic Ellis, said:

“From the start of this project the defendants failed to control even the most basic of risks on the construction site. These failings ultimately resulted in the tragic and entirely avoidable death of Mr Page.

The defendant’s failure to appropriately plan, manage and supervise lifting operations on site led to this incident.

The attempted lift of a liquid concrete load at a distance far in excess of the crane’s safe working parameters was wholly innapropriate. The potential for overturn in these circumstances is well known, entirely foreseeable and could have been simply prevented.”

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