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No HSE charges laid over Liverpool's fatal crane collapse

No charges will be brought against any of the individuals or firms involved in last year’s fatal tower crane collapse at Liverpool, the Health and Safety Executive has today revealed.

Following an investigation by Merseyside Police and the HSE - assisted by the Health and Safety Laboratory – it has been found there is insufficient evidence to bring proceedings against any of the parties investigated.

The announcement follows the end of an inquest into the 15 January incident, which ruled the collapse an accident.

Falcon Crane Hire, who supplied the luffing jib, principal contractor David McLean and crane driver Barry Walker were all under investigation in regards to the incident which killed Polish site worker Zbigniew Swirzynski.

Head of operations for construction in the north west, Mike Cross, said the decision was reached after a “lengthy and exhaustive” investigation into the causes of the collapse.

He said: “[This] involved interviews with numerous witnesses and the extensive involvement of HSE and HSL specialists. No effort was spared in determining the cause of this tragic incident, which involved visits to the crane manufacturers in Spain and full engagement with the tower crane community in Great Britain. We have already contacted Mr Swirzynski’s family to let them know our decision.”

It was found the crane collapsed when the slew ring bolts failed and the slew ring fractured, allowing the main crane assembly to fall from its tower and land upside down on top of the building being constructed.

As a result of this investigation the HSE wrote to all tower crane hirers and suppliers in Britain providing them with HSE’s technical conclusions as to the cause of the incident. They were also asked to consult manufacturers to examine whether a repeat incident could be possible.

Mr Cross said: “HSE is monitoring their responses and stands ready to take any necessary follow-up action.

“We are also engaging with a number of other key stakeholders including the Strategic Forum for Construction and the Crane Plant Hire Association and with European colleagues to ensure that lessons learnt from this incident are acted upon.”