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Fri October 23 2020

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Contractor fined after crane drops steel girders on to worker

5 May 10 John Doyle Construction has been prosecuted after a worker was seriously hurt when he was struck by steel beams falling from a tower crane.

John Doyle Construction has been prosecuted after a worker was seriously hurt when he was struck by steel beams falling from a tower crane.

Stephen James was working as a slinger - directing crane drivers - for John Doyle Construction at a residential development at Wilton Plaza in Victoria in September 2007.

City of London Magistrates heard that James had slung 20 steel beams onto two chains attached to a tower crane to be moved across site.

The 2.7-metre beams were slung with six-metre length chains attached to the crane, but as the load was lowered it hit a piece of reinforcing bar protruding from a first floor slab. The chains came together allowing the beams to slip from the chains.

James suffered multiple injuries including severe damage to his right arm and leg and now has a metal plate in his head and has been unable to work since his accident

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A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the lift was not carried out in safe manner and the site was congested with building materials. HSE asserted that there should have been a specified safe zone for lifting

The company, of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1)(c) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. The firm was fined £2,000 with costs of £17,466

HSE inspector Monica Babb said: “The terrible injuries James suffered in this incident should and could have been avoided.

“This type of incident illustrates the importance of lifting operations being properly supervised and carried out in a safe manner. The site should have been tidier and there should have been a specific area set aside for lifting operations.

“This includes indentifying and dealing with the risks that can arise from an overcrowded site.”

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