NAHETS Blog

National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Services, NAHETS Blog

Company fined £100,000 after Croydon crane accident leaves driver crippled

Posted by nahetsblog on September 24, 2009

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One of the country’s largest plant hire companies have been fined £100,000 after admitting flouting health and safety rules which left a crane driver with crippling injuries. At NAHETS Safety is our primary concern.

John Young suffered severe spinal injuries after the cab of the crane fell through the air and crashed onto the roof of the Croydon Park Hotel on June 2, 2007.

He has been left unable to return to work more than two years after the tragedy.

Passers-by reported watching the crane’s arm topple backwards 200 feet in the air and break free from its base before crashing onto the roof of the neighbouring hotel.

Firefighters who helped rescue the injured driver from the wreckage described it as “one of the biggest disasters in Croydon since the Second World War.”

The crane was building the Altitude 25 apartment block for Howard Holdings when the accident happened at around 2.20pm.

Three other workers were left stranded on the top of the crane’s base for five hours as firefighters from Croydon fire station launched a massive rescue operation.

Select Plant Hire Company Ltd, based in Dartford, Kent, admitted breaching regulation 9(2) (b) and 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998; regulation 9(2) of the Provision and use of work Equipment Regulations 1998 and; section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

As well as the fine, the company was ordered £15 victim surcharge and the costs were £33,196.

Judge Anthony Morris said: “The defendant company created a very significant risk of an accident occurring. In addition when part of a crane falls to the ground, the possibility of death or serious injury is extremely high.”

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