Bury firm fined £40,000 over crane accident

A Bury company has been fined £40,000 after a HGV driver was left unable to walk when he was crushed by metal tubes falling off a crane.

David Collins, 31, from Manchester, suffered severe injuries in the accident while working for Spectra Scaffolding in November 2008.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the Bury firm, which pleaded guilty, failed to maintain the crane.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court also heard it failed to train Mr Collins properly.

Mr Collins was working for Spectra Scaffolding refurbishing a shop at Festival Park in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, when the accident happened.

Faulty safety catch

The court heard how Mr Collins was unloading 21ft-long scaffolding tubes from a truck using a vehicle-mounted crane.

As he stood under the load operating the crane controls, one of the lifting slings detached from the crane hook, causing scaffolding tubes weighing nearly 1.5 tonnes to fall on him.

The court was told the tubes had fallen because a safety catch on the crane was faulty.

The company had known about this, the court heard, but no action was taken to replace the catch and Mr Collins had not been trained to realise its importance.

As well as the £40,000 fine, the company was ordered to pay £45,000 in prosecution costs.

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