HSE to prosecute 2017 tower crane incident

The UK Health and Safety Executive – HSE – has said that it will bring a prosecution against Falcon Tower Crane Services, following the "collapse" /overturn of one of its cranes in Crewe, Cheshire in June 2017 in which three men lost their lives. See: Fatal tower crane overturn in UK

Rhys Barker, 18, from Castleford, David Newall, 36, from Bradford, and David Webb, 43, from Northampton, all died following the incident at a construction site on Dunwoody Way on 21 June that year.

Falcon Tower Crane Services Limited is accused of breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The statement from the HSE said: “The charges follow a long and complex investigation by HSE. A Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing is due to take place at Chester Crown Court on 6th of October 2023.”

Falcon Press statement

Falcon Tower Cranes Services is a safety conscious and well-run company. It has a culture driven by safety. Its directors and management put safety at the heart of all its operations.

The company, its management and staff have been deeply affected by it and the company has done all it can to provide support to the families of those who have suffered, and our thoughts remain with them.

The company has throughout this long investigation co-operated fully with all authorities and has been determined to understand fully the causes of this tragic accident.

We are disappointed now that the HSE has chosen to prosecute the company for what it considered to be a health and safety breach arising out of this incident.

The company takes this matter very seriously and will be vigorously contesting the charge it faces


emailed comment
while associated with Falcon Crane Hire, Falcon Tower Crane Services was not formed until 2008, and has a different ownership profile, a new managing director and senior management team. The company has invested heavily in ongoing training combined with a strong focus on safety, both of which has helped transform the business.

Oct 9, 2023

FAO Andrew Brown - Director
Shipdham Airfield Ind Estate
Norfolk. IP25 7SD.

Good Morning Mr Brown,

Your Press Release (PR) above caught my attention, so please allow me the right of Reply. As you may know I have researched and corroborated 1403 Lifting Incidents over the past16 years involving 327 Tower Cranes with Falcon listed on 5 x seperate occasions in London, Liverpool, Canterbury, Crewe and Shipdham.

1. Your PR says that Falcon Tower Cranes Services is a Safety Conscious and well-run company. Yes and so it should be, after Five Significant Tower Crane Incidents in 16yrs causing Seven Fatalities.

2. Falcon has a culture driven by safety. Its directors and managers put safety at the heart of its operations. Yes and so it should 24/7 with you and all other Directors and Managers attending regular Training Courses in how to comply with the Common Law obligation known as Safe Systems of Work

3. We are disappointed that the HSE has chosen to prosecute for what it
considered to be a breach of The HSW etc Act 1974 arising from this incident.

Lifting Operations are inherently dangerous as it always involves the Defeat of Gravity. Moreover it is just as Dangerous now, as it was when I was Erecting or Dismantling Cranes and your record simply confirms that. So as a Safety Culture starts in the Boardroom, before it is followed on the Shopfloor, may I suggest that all Falcon Directors and Managers undertake intensive Training in Safe Systems of Work ASAP.

Yours sincerely
Mike Ponsonby
Silver Fox House
Fox Lane
Bromsgrove, Worcs. B617NL.

Oct 7, 2023

Crane lads
I've worked with falcon a lot on mobile cranes erecting tower cranes. Not a bad ward to say about the lads always acted in a safe manner.

Oct 3, 2023

I can understand that it takes time to compile the information required and fully investigate the circumstances around incidents such as this.
But 6 years............ What takes them so long??
If the accident had happened in the aero industry the results would have been out one heck of a lot quicker.
Families need answers quickly, now 6+ years later, just as everyone is coming to terms with it, they will have to re-live it again.

Oct 3, 2023