Last reviewed 20 November 2023

Two men working on a residential tower under construction in London were fortunate to escape death when a defective cradle they were in fell about 90 feet.

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 with Marcel Botnaru and Radu Baracu suffering serious but not life-threatening injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Zarafa Height Solutions Limited had failed to ensure that 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 part of the Zarafa Group, the two companies pleaded guilty at Croydon Magistrates Court to breaching s.3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act.

Zarafa Height Solutions was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £3987 costs while Giraffe Access Company was fined £120,000 with £3996 costs.

Drawing attention to guidance on the safe use of lifting equipment available here, HSE inspector Kevin Smith said: “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.”