News Item: Tower Crane Hire Company Fined After Employee Received Broken Vertebrae

A tower crane hire company has been fined after a worker fell two metres when the podium steps he was working on toppled over.

Cambridge Magistrates' Court heard that, a worker was welding metal components while working at height on a set of podium steps which had been taken from another factory. The steps toppled over, causing the employee to fall approximately two metres to the floor and fracture two vertebrae.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to follow its internal procedures, and did not carry out a risk assessment nor determine a safe system of work. The podium steps had been modified with the addition of incorrect feet, contrary to the manufacturers' instructions. Stabiliser bars had also not been fitted and workers had not been trained in their correct use.

London Tower Crane Hire & Sales Limited of Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company has been fined £54,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,544.