This letter from Mike Ponsonby BA to “The Editor, of The Times of London” describes what still is wrong in operating cranes by untrained, uneducated operators.
Cranes can become deadly weapons in the hands of unskilled, untrained operators.
Dear Mr Editor, 7th May 2013
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is now in its 39th year and while Parliaments well intentioned enrollment of this progressive legislation was intended to protect all Construction Workers from being Killed or Injured on site (See Sections 2.1 and 3.1) it has not been as successful as the Members of Parliament desired. For Example……
1. HSE published figures in UK confirm 173 Killed at Work in 2011 of which 49 were killed in Construction with 18 killed by Cranes or during Lifting operations. HSE own long term report 1987 to 2007 confirms the Trend is indeed down, but the shocking truth remains that 6000 plus Men and Women have still been killed at Work since 1974, of which circa 1800 have been Killed in Construction, with 500 Men Killed by Cranes or during Lifting Operations.( One of which was my Father in Law David Stanford, killed on Friday 15th January 1988)
2. Since Starting to record these Crane Mishaps on 7th May 2007, I have logged more than 553 Unsafe Crane Incidents Worldwide, most of which indicate a Lack of Training, Instruction and Supervision by Employers in Safe Systems of Work ( The Common Law Obligation for all UK Employers).
Crane Tips 2 over due No Ballast, Haguesund Norway, 171012
Most Notable Incidents in recent months include Cranes Overturning due to No Ballast, No Outriggers, No Mats under Outriggers, Short Rigged, Overloaded beyond SWL, Fully Rigged Truck Crane incl. Long Luffer moved on Dirt Road at circa 224 tones GVW, Axle Locks switched off, Lost Boom Footpins, Dropped Loads and the most heinous act of all, the Overriding of Crane Safety Controls. ( To name but Ten of many so called ” Accidents” which are not accidental at all and seen all too frequently.)
3. Crane Safety imperils all of us, that is you, me, mine and yours. Because when a Crane goes over the Falling Jib or Dropped Load does not distinguish between Male or Female victims, nor even the Snr Executive walking on the streets below, for all are at Risk of being Killed, irrespective of Gender, Age or Status ?
Check the underground before you position the crane outrigger!!
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 is now a game changer, because in the event of a Crane Fatality in UK, Companies can now be charged with Manslaughter under Section 1(1) which states ‘An organization to which this section applies is guilty of an offence if the way in which its activities are managed or organized (a) Causes a persons death and (b) amounts to a gross breach of the relevant Duty of Care owed by the organization to the Deceased. Those Doubting Thomas’s in the Construction Industry would do well to read the Judgment in the Court of Appeal reported case of R.v. Tangerine Confectionery Ltd and Veolia plc  CA EWCA 2015. In particular the Judgment of Lord Justice Hughes LJ who commented that: ‘The sections do not command an enquiry into the likelihood of the events which have in fact occurred. They command an enquiry into the possibility of injury. They are not limited (to) the risks to which they apply, (rather than ) to risks which are obvious (to another). They impose in effect, a duty on employers to think deliberately about things which are not obvious’ ( To them). The Ratio Decidendi of this Court of Appeal decision established a significant new precedent in English Law. That is, if the incident is ‘Foreseeable’ then the resulting fatality is not an accident, because it was not accidental, but instead was foreseeable for anyone who cared to look. (Please consult a Solicitor for a comprehensive explanation of the implications in Law for you as a Director) Continue reading “Still too many lifting incidents!!” »