Falcon crane hire admits charges after Battersea crane collapse
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At the hearing this week the judge expressed concern that it has taken nearly 9 years for charges to be brought for these deaths due to a crane collapse says GMB.
The case against a crane hire company and its director over the deaths of an employee and member of the public when a tower crane collapsed at a construction site in Battersea over 8 years ago has been moved to Southwark Crown Court which a hearing scheduled for 9.30am 11th March 2015.
This follows a first appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court at 2pm on Wednesday 25th February where Falcon Crane Hire Ltd and Douglas Genge were charged with Health &Safety at Work Act (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 “At the hearing this week the judge expressed concern that 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.
The case now moves to the Crown Court. GMB will discuss with the local trade unions and the families whether to stage a protest outside the Court on March 11th.
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deaths, which set out the duty to notify the use of conventional tower cranes on construction sites to HSE, have since been revoked as “red tape”.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.”