This week the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
served a Prohibition Notice on Falcon Crane Hire Ltd of Shipdam, Norfolk which
required them, with immediate effect, to take out of service all tower cranes
in their fleet which have not been subject to a thorough examination by an independent
HSE has taken this action following the collapse of two of the companyâ€s
tower cranes in less than four months at sites in Battersea ( London) and Liverpool.
Both incidents are the subject of on-going investigations and it is therefore
too early for us to be able to identify the exact causes of either failure.
Nevertheless, HSE have decided to adopt a precautionary approach and require
the company to demonstrate those cranes which have been thoroughly examined
by competent persons employed by them, are safe to continue in operation. Any
lessons learnt from the investigations will be shared with the industry as soon
The Notice will affect up to 180 tower cranes which are erected currently on
construction sites throughout Great Britain. Cranes which have already been
examined by an independent competent person are not affected by the Notice and
can continue in service. We are conscious of the severe disruption this will
cause but we are sure that the industry will support our action in the interests
of the safety of workers and the public.
HSE would like to emphasise that Falcon Crane Hire Ltd has cooperated fully
and have agreed the steps they will take to comply with the Notice. HSE will
be working with them closely to ensure the remediation process is carried out
as quickly as possible so that the cranes can return to use. Falcon Crane Hire
Ltd are in the process of informing all the construction companies whose sites
are affected and are preparing a programme for the examinations.