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Boatyard firm fined for crane danger

The overturned crane on its side

An Isle of Wight boatyard business has been fined for safety failings after a poorly maintained mobile crane overturned during a lifting operation at Yarmouth Harbour.

No-one was injured in the incident at Harold Hayles Ltd. on 1 November 2011, but a car was badly damaged by the jib of the 35-tonne machine.

Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court heard today (28 March) that the crane was being used to lift a yacht into a cradle for the winter months when the controls locked up during the de-rigging phase of the operation.

The driver retracted stabilising outriggers in order to physically move and free the controls. Although this worked, the crane overbalanced and toppled because the jib was still extended.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that the controls were prone to locking up and the crane was overdue an annual examination and testing.

All lifting equipment is required by law to undergo a thorough yearly examination, but the crane had missed its latest annual test three weeks prior to the incident because of a mechanical fa

ilure when an engineer visited the boatyard.

HSE also found that Harold Hayles Limited failed to provide a suitable lifting plan for the yacht operation, another essential safety requirement.

Magistrates were told the company had failed to heed a previous warning from HSE in February 2009 after concerns were

The damage caused to the car struck by the crane

raised about the planning of lifting operations following a routine inspection.

Harold Hayles (Yarmouth I.W.) Limited, of The Quay, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, was fined a total of £4,000 and ordered to pay £4,000 in costs after pleading guilty two breaches of the Lifting Operatio

ns and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.


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