Two men working on a residential tower were fortunate to escape death when a defective cradle they were in fell around 90 feet. In June 2020, Marcel Botnaru and Radu Baracu were working in the cradle at level nine of the Pennington Street building in London.
The support beams for the cradle had been fitted with the wrong sized end stops, which resulted in it rolling off the end and crashing to the ground below. Croydon Magistrates Court heard how an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Zarafa Height Solutions Limited failed to ensure the support beams they manufactured were safe to use when they left their factory in Grantham.
A second company, Giraffe Access Company Limited, who installed the cradle and support beams at the London Dock site failed to identify that they were defective during their safety checks prior to commissioning. Both companies of Hungate, Pickering, North Yorkshire, are part of the Zarafa Group and pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act.
Zarafa Height Solutions Limited, in Grantham, was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £3,987 costs. Giraffe Access Company Limited was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £3,996 costs. After the hearing, HSE inspector Kevin Smith said: “This incident could have ended in a double tragedy.
“Both of these men suffered injuries but were fortunate to escape with their lives. The fines imposed on these two companies should underline to everyone in the construction industry the importance of ensuring that rigorous safety checks are carried out on equipment before it is put to use.
“We will not hesitate to take action against companies which do not do all that they should to keep people safe.”