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PREMATURE CALL TO CRANE DRIVER TRIGGERS COLLAPSE

Workman fell 10m into concrete shaft along with temporary platform

J Reddington Ltd has been fine £70,000 after a workman was seriously injured when a temporary platform collapsed at St George Wharf London in February 2009.

Noel Doyle, 32, suffered a shattered right elbow, broken vertebrae, fractured pelvis and ribs, and damage to internal organs when he fell some 10m from a temporary platform which collapse and landed on a concrete staircase below.

Southwark Crown Court (28 June) heard that Mr Doyle was working with two other workers (one of whom was a foreman) to raise the temporary work platform inside a concrete shaft. The platform was lifted from one floor to another by crane with four lifting chains before being locked in place in the shaft to enable the next level to be constructed.

The platform was raised from the fourth to the fifth floor level when the crane operator was inadvertently instructed by the foreman to move whilst one chain was remained attached to the platform. This caused the platform to ‘disintegrate’ and whilst two men ‘jumped to safety’ Mr Doyle fell into the shaft.

Platform design, construction and maintenance failures

HSE investigators found the incident was caused by the failure of the foreman, who was also acting as a banksman, to ensure that all the lifting chains had been properly disconnected from the platform before instructing the crane driver to take them away.

The company failed to:

(a) plan, manage and monitor construction work carried out under its control in a way which ensured the work was carried out without risks to health and safety; and

(b) failed to manage the design, construction, maintenance and use of the temporary core platforms throughout Block A.

J Reddington Ltd, of Borehamwood, Herts, was fined £70,000 and ordered to pay £22,193 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

After sentencing HSE Inspector Loraine Charles said:

“Noel sustained serious injuries as a result of a fall that was entirely preventable had work involving temporary platforms been better planned and managed by JRL.

He fell a significant distance and could easily have been killed, as could his two colleagues who were with him on the platform.”

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One Response to “PREMATURE CALL TO CRANE DRIVER TRIGGERS COLLAPSE”

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