Falcon gets prohibition notice

15 April 2008

UK tower crane rental house Falcon Crane Hire has been served a notice requiring it to show that its tower cranes are safe to use. The prohibition notice, issued on 17 January by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), requires Falcon, “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 competent person.”

The precautionary approach requires the company to “demonstrate those cranes which have been thoroughly examined by competent persons employed by them, are safe to continue in operation,” HSE said, and that it took the action “following the collapse of two of the company's tower cranes in less than four months at sites in Battersea (London) and Liverpool.” Investigations into the cause of these incidents, where three people died, were ongoing at the time of writing.

Affected are up to 180 tower cranes erected on construction sites in Great Britain. Cranes that have already been examined by an independent competent person can continue in service, HSE said. “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,” the HSE statement read.

HSE said Falcon cooperated fully and agreed steps to comply. This latest move follows an HSE safety alert issued in October (IC November News, p12) and again on 16 January.

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