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U.K. Crane Rental Company Fined After Accident

Select Plant Hire Co. Ltd., a U.K.-based tower crane rental specialist was fined £100,000 (about U.S. $160,000) for breaching regulations in an accident that caused severe injuries to a crane operator.

The operator was injured, the court said, in June 2007 when the jib of a tower crane owned and operated by Select toppled backwards and became detached from the mast. The jib, along with the driver’s cab, fell through the air, crashing onto the roof of a hotel in Croydon, U.K. The incident occurred during an operation to extend the height of the tower crane from 60 meters to 98 meters, using a climbing frame. The team employed to extend the height of the crane had not used the equipment before, the court found, and had not been trained on its use.

The crane driver was trapped on the roof for more than an hour before rescue services could get him down. He suffered three compression fractures of the spine, a fractured lumber vertebrae, two broken ribs and a fractured skull and still has been unable to return to work.

The crane collapse also caused extensive damage to the hotel, although no one in the building was injured.

Select Plant Hire Co. is based in Dartford, Kent.

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