early reports from Battersea Crane Inquest

Some early reports of the Inquest into the Battersea Crane deaths of Michael Alexa and Jonathan Cloke

The Evening Standard reports:

“The machine, owned by Falcon Cranes, should have had eight tons of concrete balancing the weight of its load but the contractor used a manual for a different model which needed 12  tons…..

Health and Safety Executive inspector Brent Bolton said the extra weights would have increased the tension on a crucial set of bolts by ‘100-plus per cent’.

The 24 bolts on the crane’s slew ring – which allows the top part to pivot – had been replaced two months earlier after several suddenly broke while in use at the site on Thessaly Road.

Mr Bolton told the hearing: “When we showed the manual that Falcon were using to the manufacturer, they told us that certain pages within the manual had been mixed up with those of other models of crane, and certain pages were missing.

“On every site that the crane was erected in the UK, it had an excess counterweight load on it – by between 16 per cent and 52 per cent.

“An overload of 52 per cent actually puts more than twice the force through the bolts on the slew ring, so the force being felt by the bolts increases by 100-plus per cent.”

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