The long interval between the deaths and the court case and the revoking of regulations on crane collapses “as red tape” provide a clear example of how little human life is valued GMB
A crane hire company and its director will make a first appearance in Westminster Magistrates Court at 2pm on Wednesday 25th February after an employee and member of the public were killed when a tower crane collapsed at a construction site in Battersea over 8 years ago.
Falcon Crane Hire Ltd and Douglas Genge are charged with HSWA breaches after HSE identified alleged failings with maintenance and overloading of the crane in question.
Jonathon Cloke, 37, fell to his death from inside the cab of the crane when it overloaded and snapped at a Barratt Homes site in September 2006. A section of the crane then struck and killed Michael Alexa, 23, as he cleaned his car in a neighbouring street outside the development.
John McClean, GMB National Health and Safety Officer, said “It has taken nearly 9 years for charges to be brought against the company and the director for these deaths due to a crane collapse.
Faulty crane maintenance caused these deaths. The Notification of Conventional Tower Crane Regulations 2010, introduced after a Battersea led campaign to prevent further crane deaths, which set out the duty to notify the use of conventional tower cranes on construction sites to HSE, have since been revoked as “red tape”. See notes to editors for copy of HSE press release of April 2010 on the Tower Crane Regulations.
Employer pressure led to these regulations being revoked and the associated Register closed down so from April 2013 there is no longer a duty to notify tower cranes on construction sites to HSE.
The long interval between the deaths and the court case and the revoking of regulations on crane collapses “as red tape” provide a clear example of how little human life is valued.”
Contact John McClean GMB 07710 631 329 or Dan Shears 07918 767781 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823
Notes to editors
HSE press release dated April 2010
New tower crane regulations come into force on 6 April 2010
New regulations come into force today (6 April) requiring the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to be notified of conventional tower cranes installed on construction sites.
The new regulations:
place the duty to notify on the employer
require notification of the relevant information within 14 days of thorough examination of the crane
require cranes already erected when the Regulations come into force to be registered within 28 days
allow electronic notification via the HSE website
Details that would have to be notified to HSE are:
the site address where the tower crane is being used
the name and address of the crane owners/lessors
details needed to identify the crane
the date of its thorough examination
details of the employer for whom the examination was made
whether any defects posing a risk of serious injury were detected
All details notified will be contained in a register that will be open to public scrutiny. Notifications will be subject to an administration fee of £20.
Notes to editors
The new regulations are the Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations, SI 2010 No.333 and the Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes (Amendment) Regulations SI 2010 No.811
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 require tower cranes to be thoroughly examined by a competent person before first use and on a periodic basis (6 or 12 months depending if they are used to lift persons) or in accordance with a written scheme of examination.
There are two main types of tower cranes, known as conventional (or 'assisted-erected') and 'self erectors'. Conventional cranes are transported in pieces and assembled on site. Self-erecting tower cranes are complete units that are brought to site and then unfolded.