Construction company pleads guilty after 10-year crane case
Almost a decade after two people were killed during an incident involving a crane, the case is finally close to a conclusion, as Falcon Crane Hire Ltd pleaded guilty to two charges.
The incident occurred in 2006, at the site of an old school in Battersea, Greater London. Flats were being built on the land, and the crane was being used as part of the construction process. Driver Jonathan Cloke and Michael Alexa, who was changing the wheel of his car, were both killed during the incident.
The trial commenced on 29th February, 2016, and was expected to last for six weeks. However, following an agreement to drop charges against the managing director of Falcon, the company itself pleaded guilty. The trial took place at Southwark Crown Court, where Falcon pleaded guilty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
During an investigation by police, it was discovered that the crane had been overloaded, using twelve tonnes of counterweights, rather than eight. Two months before the incident, four bolts of the crane had failed, with no investigation carried out by the company to find out the cause. When the crane collapsed, the driver fell out of the cab, dying from head injuries. Alexa, 21, was instantly crushed to death. Sentencing will take place on 15th March, 2016.
The failure of a company to carry out risk assessments and make sure all equipment and machinery is safe can result in the death of workers and members of the public. PPE and safety workwear may be necessary to ensure the safety of others at all times.