Steel beam narrowly misses workers
Posted Fri, 04 Mar 2011
Warehouse workers in Newcastle narrowly avoided certain death when a 15-metre steel beam came crashing down, wrecking the office on which it landed, local magistrates have learned.
The four-tonne girder just missed the workers trying to remove it, and the demolished office was empty at the time, meaning no-one was injured. Slings were used to attach the beam to a lifting crane but they failed under the sheer weight of the beam, which ended up falling around 14m to the ground.
The company that owns the warehouse, Siemens Energy Services, had contracted Konecranes to carry out the work in August 2009. But the wrong equipment was used in the operation to remove the beam, which acted as an overhead runway for a crane, as the work was not properly planned.
Konecranes UK, of Lloyds House, Albion Road, West Bromwich, admitted breaking regulation 8(1)(c) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. Newcastle magistrates fined the contractor £8,000 and told it to pay prosecution costs of £7,529.
Copyright © Press Association 2011
HSE on lifting operations