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More details on wind farm incident

A number of you have been asking about the findings of the investigation into the lifting incident at Mostyn Port in North Wales, in which a large (80 to 100 tonnes) wind turbine tower section for the Walney II offshore wind farm was dropped.

We have recently been provided with more information on what happened, some of which we have corroborated and can publish here, although those directly involved have been reluctant to share any information with the industry at large, at least publicly.

A statement this week from the main contractor on the site - Siemens Wind Power - said: “Siemens has carried out an investigation of the incident at the Port of Mostyn, which occurred on the 7th June. Our policy is not to disclose details of internal investigations.”
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The dropped tower section in storage

We do now have some photographs of the dropped tower section that we now understand was being lifted by an 600 tonne crawler crane, while being tailed-in by a smaller unit, which we understand to be one of the modified Hyster container handlers owned by Weldex.

It seems that the tower section was dropped due to a failure of the connection between the lifting brackets and the tower section itself – in other words the bolts that connect the bracket to the tower.
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A closer look reveals more of the damage

If our sources are correct the failure occurred as the tower section neared the vertical position, it came down on the platform of a parked 45ft Genie boom lift that thankfully had been recently vacated by its two occupants. The Hyster handler was also seriously damaged. No one was injured in the incident.
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The damaged boom lift, thankfully no one was in the platform at the time

The Scottish based crawler crane specialist Weldex has the contract for moving the tower sections from dockside to storage and back, and it owns the CC2800 that was carrying out the lift. The company has declined to comment on the incident. To see the original report on this incident click here

Vertikal Comment

It is sad that information on incidents such as this are not shared more widely and openly. The vast majority of ‘accidents’ occur due to human failings – someone 'forgets' to put all the bolts into a connection or does not torque them correctly.

The fact is that by publishing such information openly the failing becomes a subject for discussion and others adopt specific measures to avoid having a similar occurrence themselves, this is how the commercial aviation industry (at least in the west) has managed to gain such a fantastic safety record.

We also know for a fact that detailed accident reports and subjects such as our Death Wish series are used widely by trainers to enhance their presentations which really helps bring reality into a training session. In a recent Vertikal Poll 72.5 percent of all respondents said that the public reporting of near miss incidents should be mandatory in law.

Not that this is all down to companies such as Siemens or Weldex, for such an open approach to flourish it needs the Health & Safety authorities to change their view and move away from the unhelpful focus on whom to blame and how to ensure the best prosecution results – towards a genuine and open atmosphere that encourages openness rather than subterfuge.

Until that happens companies almost feel obliged to maintain a wall of silence in fear that anything they say will be used against them in a court of law and prejudice a fair hearing.


Mr Mellor. email [email protected]

Dec 4, 2011

fao Mike Ponsonby,

Hi Mike i did report the "DANGEROUS OCCURANCE" to the HSE on the following monday after i had been unfairly dismissed by WELDEX under pressure or instruction from SIEMENS seemingly to use me as a scapegoat. I have also passed on the information to VERTIKAL, any help or assistance you can give personally or legally would be very much appreciated to clear my name in this incident if you need to contact me personally you will be able to obtain my details from Vertikal through the registration .
thanks and regards Ian Mellor

Sep 27, 2011

FAO Ian Mellor.

Good Evening Mr Mellor,

You are not alone, so may I suggest that you....

1. Make an Official Complaint to HSE about this potentially Fatal 'Near Miss' incident, as this is a clear breach of sections 2(1) and 3(1) of HSW Act 1974.
2. Consult a Solicitor and I would be happy to introduce you as this kind of incident is Dangerous and must be stopped before any more innocents are killed during lifting operations.

Fortunately nobody was killed on this occasion, unlike Friday 15th January 1988, when my Father in Law David Stanford (d) was killed by an NCK Crawler Crane.

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby BA

Sep 26, 2011

to the people that were involved with the two articles which were removed please put them on again in your own name or annonymous i read both and i think they were both very good articles and more people could do to read them rgds

Sep 9, 2011

vertikal editor
Dear Anthony,

You can say what you think as long as it is not in someone elses name and that it is honest, factual and and not profane etc...


Aug 25, 2011

Well I cant note what I and others really do think, But Siemens as a company should realise there is a urgent need for improvements now

Aug 24, 2011

vertikal editor
Fraudulent usage

We have removed two comments on this article posted by an individual whom we believe may have used the identity of others to make a point.

Such practices cannot nor will be tolerated the comment section on this web site allows readers to add input, comment and criticism and there is the possibility to comment anonymously if your identity is an issue.

Our rules are simple and not overly onerous for the benefit of those who may not be aware of them the policy is repeated below, we very much appreciate you complying with it.

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So keep it clean, polite and to the point.

Aug 22, 2011

Paul Schwarzer
I hope the investigation into these incidents targets the correct people. The job of the AP is hard enough at the best of times without idiots putting extra pressure on to them basically giving them an ultimatum to either do the job or be sacked.

The above is a form of bullying and needs to be stamped out of the industry right NOW

Aug 21, 2011

Its always bad to hear of any crane accident or incident but thankfully no one was hurt on this occassion...

Im an outsider who hasn't worked on the project so cannot really make a judgement...

But through the grapevine I hear like others that Siemens management need to take a look at the lifting management team on site.

The industry as a hole needs a good shake up there are far to many people gaining qualifications on paper who are left in charge of a project BUT lack the practical experience...and this may have been one of the causes with the incident at Mostyn...

Aug 20, 2011

Very sad and very disapointing to see this, but this incident was predicted by a number of Peiople. This should be taken as a strong indication as to the level and compentency in regard to lifting managemnt currently in place within Siemens.

In need of a total shake up, NOW

Aug 19, 2011

Four Offshore Heavy Lifting Supervisors left this project in Mostyn,inside a period of 6xweeks, prior to this incident at Mosyten WHY?

Incompetence in management team.

Aug 19, 2011

i can confirm both cranes belonged to Weldex as i was the "crane supervisor" for Weldex the morning of the dangerous occurance.On the following friday i was told by Weldex management i was sacked as Siemens management did not want me onsite. I feel i have been used as a scapegoat. In my role as crane supervisor on the morning of the occurance i told both operators to leave both machines as they were due to the seriousness of the event for HSE to investigate,. this did not occur. the rest of the article seems accurate

Aug 17, 2011