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Crane overturns in Scotland

9. September 2011 | Comments (20)

A lattice boom crane has overturned at the Port of Invergordon in Scotland this afternoon, thankfully no one was injured in the incident.

The back mast of the overturned crane

The accident occurred at around 15:00, while Ainscough was apparently relocating its 550 tonne Liebherr LG1550 truck mounted crane while partially rigged when it lost stability and ended up on its side.

An overview of the scene

The boom came down onto the cab of the 100 tonne Terex Demag telescopic All Terrain crane, owned by Global Logistics,that was working alongside demolishing its carrier cab.

The boom demolished the cab of a neaby 100 tonner

Another view

Global Demag
The crane damaged by the boom

No further details have been provided at this time.


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Ian Stonier
21. September 2011 16:03

Hi there bryan and billy in regards to putting things onto a roof, Mmmm complicated is this one but I have worked out that I bet there are soon real heavy objects that need to be lifted onto certain roof's where an 80 tonne crane would have insufficient duties, who knows.Also indeed the industry does not need jokers at this pressing time but seeing as no one was hurt or injured am sure a little bit of a satirical look back at the incident does no harm, you would have to be one pretty sad individual or company to think that john hammonds (if that is indeed his real name) light hearted comments were serious.So please fellas look in the mirror then slap your self around the head and promise yourself and the industry that you will lighten up...

Mike Ponsonby
16. September 2011 11:31

Good Morning Gentlemen,

The excellent publication by Liebherr Cranes entitled the " Influence of Wind on Crane Operations' is now available to all Crane Owners and Crane Drivers Worldwide by writing to....

Liebherr Werk Ehingen GmbH
Dr Hans Liebherr Strausse 1
D-89582 Ehingen/Donau
Germany. EU.

Email is ( all in Lower case)

Version 2 of 2011 is the Training Document you should request .

Upon receipt, this excellent publication should be read by the Managing Director, all Directors, All Ops Managers, All Hire Desk Staff, All Appointed Persons and all Crane Drivers.

For it is only when we are all singing from the same hymn sheet, that we will have less of the Daily Incidence of Cranes overturning or being Blown Over by the extrordinary power of the Wind. Especially so in an era of Global Warming with ever increasing disrupted weather patterns worldwide.

Stay safe 24/7 and Risk Assess all variables, including the wind , before putting the Outriggers down and the JIb up.

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby BA

Steve Sparrow
15. September 2011 17:01

@ Mike Ponsonby

Do you know where can I obtain a copy of the document you mention "Influence of Wind on Cranes and Lifting Operations"

It would be useful to show to some of my clients, and more professional that just referring them to the "Big Blue" video.

Mike Ponsonby
14. September 2011 19:49

Good Evening Gentlemen,

Please let us agree on some Ground Rules when commenting on these matters, as this type of Crane Incident is becoming far too frequent in the UK and Worldwide.

1. Safety is everyone's responsibility, not just the Cranes owner.
2. The HSE will Investigate in the UK all Fatal or Potentially Fatal Crane Incidents, as only they can ever be impartial.
3. Lightning is Accidental, all other potentially Fatal Incidents are Negligence on the part of someone Senior.
4. Crane Drivers as Employees are not to be Blamed.
5. Employers are Vicariously Liable in English Law since 1951 CA.
6. Wind Gusts are Foreseeable and dangerous to all Cranes, Riggers and other Men involved in Lifting Operations.
7. Risk Assessments are a Statutory Obligation, Not an option.
8. Liebherr publication 'The Influence of the Wind on Crane Ops' (v2 of 2011) is well worth reading and may well save your Life.
9. Only 'The Sun' thinks that safety in the workplace is unimportant, the rest of us at the coal-face know it is vital.
10. Modern Cranes come fully equipped with all manner of Safety Devices. Like Upper and Lower Jib Wind Speed indicators, Spirit Levels and Computerised displays of SWL for that particular Jib Length and Radii. So lets use them to maximum effect.

In summary, we go to work to earn Money, not to get Killed.
(Unlike my Father in Law David Stanford who was indeed fatally injured by a Crane on Friday 15th Jan 1988.) So lets do the Job Safely 24/7, that way we all go home to out Family's at the end of each day, as Fatal Incidents are not Fated, but are indeed within our ability to Control and Manage Safely.

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby BA

14. September 2011 00:55

mr hammond it would be best if you kept your comments to yourself for a start you would not use a 1550 to put things onto a roof like the ones that are in the photos near it an 80 tonner would manage that, as mr cronie who has a lot of experience in the crane industry said to you this industry doesnt need idiots in it , it is a difficult enough job to do & when things like this happen people have got to be sensible about there comments we can all speculate on things but if we are not there on the scene we have to be sensible enough to let the right people come to there own conclusions through the right channels

vertikal editor
13. September 2011 16:39


Can we please keep this polite, there will be a full investigation and at this stage it is best to wait. Everything that can be said and much which should not have been said has been said. Please can we moderate this discussion. News comments are meant to be constructive and polite.
Many thanks for your understanding...

Note also that we do have a forum for ongoing discussions.

Bryan Cronie
13. September 2011 16:11

Mr Hammond may I suggest you go and take a long look in the mirror, our industry does not need such jokers

Bryan Cronie

ian mellor
13. September 2011 13:57

I dont suppose the two operators will be feeling fantastic luckily no body was hurt,whether it was mechanical failure or operator error before we condem let us remember we are all human and can make mistakes.(But for the grace of god go I ) comes to mind.We will get to know the outcome after Ainscoughs carry out investigations rgds

john hammond
13. September 2011 11:55

Dear Bryan, may I call you Bry? I think an investigation would be pointless. All the clues are there to see. The operator has moved the crane (probably whilst making a brew) and then the phone's probably rang (wife. "when will you be home, when you gonna sort this central heating out?" etc.) and before you know it someone's shouted, "just lift this on't roof mate." Next thing your slewing round without the leg things out! ..and I should know because my uncle drove a Coles and he knew everything about lifting stuff.

martin lansley
13. September 2011 10:17

totally agree with you Brian, there are always far to many speculative comments banded around when a mishap of this nature occurs!!

Bryan Cronie
13. September 2011 06:24


May I suggest that you leave the investigation to Ainscough rather than speculating to what could have happened???


Bryan Cronie

Robert Slingsby
12. September 2011 17:30

All very good points, thank you all for sharing. Mike your input is highly valued, thank you very much. Just printed and made a small poster for the office.....
"Please note that Employees are not to Blame, for it is the Employer who is under a Statutory Duty to Train, Instruct and Supervise his Employees. Including but not limited to Risk Assessment of all the Hazards prevailing at that time and which is foreseeable during the lift, Including Wind Gusts"
Succinct and concise!
Be safe,

Steve Sparrow
12. September 2011 15:32

Mike, your points are well taken, but it seems in this case the crane was being traveled to another location. The outriggers were pulled in to pass an obstruction and were not re-extended. The camber changed in the road, and over she went.

My condolences for the loss of your father in law. No job is worth dying for,

Mike Ponsonby
10. September 2011 20:35

Good Evening Gentlemen,

The Influence of Wind on Cranes and Lifting Operations is well known and extremely well documented in the current publication by Messers Liebherr Werk AG of the same title.
( See version 2 of 2011)

So before setting up the cranes outriggers on Timber Mats and Raising the Boom, someone Snr should always do a Risk Assessment of Wind speed, Location, Gusts, Terrain, Tall Buildings nearby, Load Shape, Size, Square Area, Wind Loading and Wind Drag, especially on irregular shaped loads like wind turbine blades and hub assemblies.

All of which will then produce a Method Statement to determine How, When and more importantly If the lift should proceed. For without taking account of all these variable factors 24/7 then we are working in the dark and putting ourselves and all others others on the ground at Risk of being Killed by a falling crane.

Finally all Crane Drivers should monitor very closely the Upper and Lower Wind Indicators on the in-cab computer display, then compare them with the Mfrs recommended wind speed for that particular jib length, Radius and SWL. If the former exceeds the latter, then the jib should be put down and the Lift suspended till the unsafe wind conditions improve.

Fortunately on this occasion, no-one was killed but on Friday 15th Jan 1988, It was my Father in Law David Stanford (d) of Dublin who was killed by an NCK Andes 605 Crawler Crane, in a similar lifting operation.

Please note that Employees are not to Blame, for it is the Employer who is under a Statutory Duty in the UK to Train, Instruct and Supervise his Employees. Including but not limited to Risk Assessment of all the Hazards prevailing at that time and which is foreseeable during the lift, Including Wind Gusts.

So in the words of Mr J. J. Curran of Detroit ” its not luck, its know how” that is required for safe systems of work in Cranes and Lifting Operations Worldwide.

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby BA

rob pace
10. September 2011 16:25

Should have been the only things damaged is thankfully the crane and egos !!

rob pace
10. September 2011 14:06

The only thing that matters is everyone involved is ok . The only thing damaged thankfully wil be Egos. Probably a silly mistake that any operater of any experience could have done. I agree Brian , Ainscough do set the industry standards , just as Hewden did before them , but all of the best operaters , thats where youre wrong . Maybe lots of good operaters , just like nearly every other crane hire company across the UK has.

Stuart Bain
10. September 2011 12:39

The main thin firstly is "NO FATALITIES" or injury to anyone involved. Dont get me wrong but just a bit of the green eyed monster creeping in here! I know most of the Ainscough/Jacks operators/management also the guys in charge of the dock and i would bet my house on this being an error that could have happened to any company. We are all human after all. The thing is to learn from it whatever the outcome. People too quick to blame the operators when these things happen. Just thankfully nobody injured. Get the guys in to investigate first before blaming anyone!

Mark McLaren
10. September 2011 11:57

Thankfuly no injuries.Will be interesting to hear of cause.

Stephen Burke
10. September 2011 11:37

A very unfortunate incident, that most importantly did not result in an injury, things could quite possibly of been worse.
Its important that the learning from these incidents are shared across industry, something in procedure failed, pressure is still being excerted on personnel both externally and internally. Being the leader in industry does not always mean things will be overlooked. There are a lot of companies out there that still do not comply with the basic standards in our industry, a lot more needs to be done, a little bit of inward looking needs to be addresed, no different to the rest of us says it all. Accidents will only become a rarity when the whole industry is brought into line with the standards.

9. September 2011 23:59

This type of incident is, as they say - 'Out there waiting on us all...', so I can only commiserate with the Ainscough Group as a result.
However, that said - Ainscoughs go to great lengths to sell a company that sets industry standards, has the best drivers and maintained plant, has the best safety record and practices, doesn't overload cranes (nonsense), and yet this incident proves they are no different to the rest of us....



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