Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Crane Accident Costs One Man His Life
Posted by David Cant on January 4, 2012
1 Comment

A life has been needlessly lost due to the negligence of employers who failed to maintain the equipment being used on their sites. Richard Thornton, who went by his middle name Mark, was aged just 46 when he tragically lost his life while working in Liverpool. Mr Thornton was employed by Siteweld Construction Ltd and working at a warehouse when the accident happened back in March 2007.

Overturned Crane Killed Employee on Site

Mr Thornton was working at Wavetree Business Park where a new floor was being constructed. A crane was being used to move steel columns and it was during the move that the 50 tonne crane fell onto Mr Thornton. The crane was moving the steel column which weighted six tonnes on its own. The column was eighteen metres away from the crane, and the machine was not built to lift such weight at that distance.

Maintained Equipment Could Have Prevented the Accident

The Health Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive discovered that the crane was also poorly maintained. The override button was not working correctly, the alarm which is meant to alert workers nearby was no longer functioning and the switch that alerts workers that the weight capacity is being overloaded did not work.

As a result of these errors Benjamin Lee, the managing director of Siteweld Construction Ltd was prosecuted. He was charged with breaking Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. Mr Lee pleaded guilty to the charges at Liverpool Crown Court on December 16 2011 and was fined £80,000. In addition to the fine he was also ordered to pay £18,478 in costs.  The company pleaded guilty and received a £50 nominal fine as it is no longer trading.

Mr Thornton has left behind his loving wife of over twenty years who feels her life ended with the death of her husband. The health inspector Sarah Wadham spoke on behalf of the HSE and said that the death of Mr Thornton was down to many health and safety procedures that were being ignored. The work needed to be planned out and the equipment should have been maintained so it functioned properly.

Construction Health and Safety Services Are Readily Available

Construction firms need to be aware of the dangers that bad planning and equipment can cause.  Health and safety consultants offer numerous services to the construction industry which are designed to help employers and employees are aware of their responsibilities and the laws and regulations in place to prevent accidents, injuries and the loss of life.

Consultants are able to offer a multitude of health and safety services specifically for the construction industry. These include:

Working in one of the most dangerous industries comes with a lot of responsibility. There are laws and regulations which need to be followed in order to stop more people from losing their lives. Call 0800 1488 677 for further information.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Construction Health and Safety, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Safety

One Comment

  1. May 13, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    It’s unfortunate when larger cranes cost lives. Smaller cranes can reduce injuries and death and increase saftey on jobsites.

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