Faulty crane causes accident leaving man paralysed… A driver of a HGV in Manchester was paralysed by heavy metal tubes which crushed him after they fell from a faulty crane.
The 31 year-old man sustained serious injuries to his head, back and legs as a result of the accident and is now confined to a wheelchair and will most likely never walk again.
The HSE investigated the accident and decided to prosecute the Bury based firm Spectra Scaffolding after learning the details of what happened on 7 November 2008 at Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent where the accident occurred.
The Crown Court in Stoke-on-Trent heard that the accident victim was in the process of unloading metal tubes from the back of a delivery truck with the aid of a vehicle-mounted crane. While the man was operating the crane controls and as the metal tubes hovered above him, one of the lifting slings malfunctioned and detached from the central hook causing the one and a half tonne load of metal tubes to come tumbling down onto the victim and crushing him.
The HSE investigation determined that the driver had not been properly trained or supervised on how to manoeuvre the crane and no adequate risk assessment had been carried our prior to beginning the task. The court also heard that the investigating team had examined the crane and found that a safety catch on the crane hook was not functioning correctly and that the company has been aware of this but had failed to take any action to correct the fault.
Lindsay Hope, an investigating office from the HSE said:
“As a result of this incident Mr Collins has been severely disabled and could easily have been killed.
“Companies that operate lorry-mounted cranes must ensure their operators undertake appropriate, recognised training in all aspects. Operators of lorry-mounted cranes must be competent to use the equipment properly and plan safe lifting in variable site conditions.
“In this instance, the lift wasn’t properly planned or supervised and Mr Collins hadn’t been sufficiently trained in how to use the crane and slings properly.
“Furthermore, the equipment had not been properly maintained and should never have been used.”
Spectra Scaffolding pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use