A close call

A crawler crane lost stability on a job site in Durham, UK, last week, and began to overturn. Thankfully the boom landed on part of the building structure close before the crane had tipped beyond the point of no return.

The boom was damaged close to the butt section and we understand from reports that we have received that the near side track also sustained some damage. But most important of all no one was hurt. The crane, a Liebherr LR1100 is reported to be from the Select Plant fleet, and was working on a Sir Robert McAlpine office construction site on an industrial estate.
A photo taken shortly after the incident occurred

From information received the cause appears to be a result of overloading, but naturally there is no way that we can be certain of that. This unit is likely to have a recorder installed on the overload system, so an investigation should quickly reveal what actually caused the incident.

Hopefully any lessons learnt from this near miss will be shared widely within the industry, in order to prevent a similar thing happening elsewhere – next time we may not be as fortunate.


Good Evening Gentlemen,

Crane Industry Executives maybe interested to know the principle in Tort Law, called ‘Res Ipsa Loquitur’ ( Latin) : In English this means “The Thing Speaks For Itself,” so when this Crawler Crane Tipped over in Durham last week, the fact that the Excellent LICCON Load Moment Indicator ( LMI) was incorrectly set in Rigging Mode is almost academic, as the Crane Tipped over. As such this negligent act ‘ Speaks for Itself ‘.

This is a Rule of Evidence rather than of English Law, but the Doctrine behind it is enough to get Judgment in favour of the Claimants Barrister, in the event of a Personal Injury Claim.

However but for the Grace of God, no-one was Killed on this occasion, unlike the 395 Men, Women and Children all Killed by Cranes and/or Lifting Operations Worldwide since 1st January 2009.

Worker Safety is very important.

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby

Dec 21, 2016

Crane expert
I like the editors comment about select making any type of statement to prevent this from happening again hahahahahaha, from what I have been told today they are more interested in finding who is the whistleblower, don't know how they open the office door with everything that's brushed under the carpet.

Dec 21, 2016

Robert Page
Tipped over crane = OVERLOAD. Under normal circumstances the LMI should have prevented this but if bypassed or placed in the rigging mode...

The safety standards continue to mandate more and more safety systems but is it really making a difference? Try to make a crane idiot proof and they keep making better idiots every day!

Dec 21, 2016

Scary stuff! It is a massive conundrum. Training and gaining experience is defo the way forward but young people aren't coming through in any number of trades. I fear for the operated truck market as the average age is rising and good guys are hard to find. Any thoughts?

Dec 21, 2016

Crane expert
Hi Gary
Yes I do know the facts of the cause of this, it was a new operator in the seat that was operating the crane in rigging mode, I wouldn't of pointed the finger without knowing the facts.

Dec 21, 2016

Gary Brady
Unless 'Crane expert' knows something that isn't in the Vertikal article, it is wrong to make assumptions about the operator of this or any other machine. No reputable company (Be it the contractor or the hire company) would allow an operator 'loose' on a job without appropriate qualifications or experience. The overload (if indeed that is the cause) could be the result of miscalculation on the part of the contractor or any number of other causes. Shooting from the hip on these matters is never a good response.

Dec 21, 2016

Crane expert
I take it the cheaper solution isn't working out for Select plant, or as they are slowly being known as "neglect plant" it's a great thing them taking apprentices on as we need new blood in the industry - but come on Select use some bloody common sense don't let these new guys loose on big cranes with luffers on them as you have now learnt it's a accident waiting to happen.

Dec 21, 2016

Nothing to heavy
Ray & Des would be delighted with that,the op was trying hard!

Dec 21, 2016
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