Durrington Crane Collapse Update

Firm ‘safe’ before crane collapse

The collapsed crane and an ambulance attending to the casualties

Mr Miles and Mr Boatman were preparing to dismantle the crane

The secretary of a crane firm that denies breaching safety laws after two workers died has told jurors safety was not a cause for concern.

Gary Miles, 37, and Steven Boatman, 45, from Berkshire, died in West Sussex when a crane collapsed in 2005.

They were working for Eurolift (Tower Cranes) Ltd, which was taken over by WD Bennett Plant & Services Ltd in 2003.

Tracey Pockett, company secretary of WD Bennett, told Chichester Crown Court Eurolift was a “good, solid crew”.

Eurolift, based in Aldershot, Hampshire, has already pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. WD Bennett, based in Gloucestershire, denies both charges.

The Crown claims it was WD Bennett’s responsibility to ensure the safety of workers, even though the firms operated independently.

Ms Pockett said that when WD Bennett took over Eurolift in 2003, there was no evidence of Eurolift having been served prohibition notices by the Health and Safety Executive.

She added: “Nothing came to our attention that should be a concern about Eurolift.”

Map of the area

The court heard that, after the takeover, the companies continued to operate separately, with separate contracts, paperwork and bank accounts, but WD Bennett would regularly sub-contract work to Eurolift.

In 2004, WD Bennett was hired to provide, erect and dismantle two cranes at a building site at a special needs school in Durrington, jurors were told.

Mr Miles and Mr Boatman, both from Reading and employed by Eurolift, were expected to dismantle them in February 2005.

They fell to their deaths after a third worker, Dave Smith, who had no training and was unsupervised, mistakenly loosened the bolts of the 118ft (36m) tower crane, causing it to collapse, the jury was told.

Mr Smith suffered broken bones in the incident.

The trial was adjourned until Friday.

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~ by Simon on March 26, 2009.

2 Responses to “Durrington Crane Collapse Update”

  1. Greatings, Not sure that this is true:), but thanks for a post.

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