Tower crane incident in UK

Part of a tower crane was dropped onto a new hospital building in Smethwick, Birmingham in the UK earlier today.

The crane was apparently being dismantled at the time on the site which is being managed by contractor Balfour Beatty, following the collapse of Carillion last year. We understand that no one was hurt in the incident.

A statement from Balfour Beatty said: “The health and safety of the public and our workforce is always our primary concern and we can confirm that no one was hurt as a result of this incident. The surrounding area was immediately secured and works have now ceased on site while the crane section is safely removed, after which works will resume. An investigation is ongoing into the cause and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
The fallen sections landed on the roof of the building

Local press reports show cranes from King Lifting on the scene suggesting that they may have been involved, but King has confirmed categorically that its cranes were not involved in any way with the incident.


Good Morning Mr Editor,

Thank you for Publishing this incident above, as this potentially fatal Dropped Jib is crane incident number 586 which has caused 522 Fatalities Worldwide since I started researching this subject on 7th May 2007.

As you know, Lifting Operations are Inherently Dangerous because it always involves the Defeat of Gravity. So as the Ex-Carrillion New Hospital Site at Smethwick is well known to me, this Dropped Jib Incident requires close scrutiny as it led to the usual Press Release being published which is quoted as follows. AN INVESTIGATION IS ONGOING INTO THE CAUSE AND THEREFORE IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE TO COMMENT FURTHER AT THIS TIME.

The Final Report then gets quietly shelved until the next Crane incident, by which time we have all forgotten about the first with two seperate Crane Incidents last week in Smethwick UK and Yarraville, Australia. This type of manipulated News Management is a VG example of how Innocent People Get Killed by the negligent acts of others while ignoring the principles of Force, Mass and the Dangerous Effects of Wind on Loads.

So in the absence of any positive initiatives by the Crane Industry on how to raise Safety Standards, please allow me to make three suggestions.

1. Start a Crane Safety Training Programme.

2. Include the Newtonian Principles of Force, Mass and Gravity in that Safety Training Programme.

3. All Chief Executives, Directors and Managers to be Trained in the Employers Legal obligations called RAMS and SSoW.

Therefore as my Database of 586 Crane Incidents confirms that 15% involved Tower Cranes, please allow me conclude by stating that Worker Safety is important, very important and much too important to leave it to chance.

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby

15 Apr 2019

Seems to be some pins missing?

10 Apr 2019
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