Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Bow crane collapse: HSE urged to publish initial findings

25 August 2020

Unite the union has urged HSE to publish the initial findings from its investigation into a crane collapse in Bow, London.

Last month a 20m tower crane collapsed on a construction site in east London, killing one person and injuring four.

Unite’s national officer for construction, Jerry Swain, called for the publication of the findings to lift the “cloud of suspicion” from the crane operators of the company involved, Wolffkran Ltd.

He said: “The HSE cannot be seen to be trying to sweep the investigation into this accident under the carpet. It is already nearly seven weeks since the accident occurred.”

“The company concerned and the workers involved have a cloud of suspicion hanging over them and this is almost certainly unfair.”

Aftermath of the collapse (Image:

Last month, a Wolffkran spokesperson said that the type of crane used has been “reliable in operation worldwide” and had already been fully erected.

Due to the nature of the collapse, winter weather concerns and the coronavirus pandemic, removal of the crane could take up to six months, according to Tower Hamlets council.

Swan Housing, the firm responsible for securing and removing the crane, has appointed a specialist contractor to carry out the work.


Dear Sir,
Although UNITE’s request is a valid and reasonable expectation the HSE’s resources are that strapped you’ll be lucky to see a prelimary finding inside 12 months. Don’t expect anything to arrive in “court” until at least 2013.
Mick Norton BEM

Michael Norton, 25 August 2020