Lucky escape for builder after crane topples over at North Ness site

A man working on the construction site for new council offices at North Ness was injured on Thursday when the crane he was operating toppled over.

He was taken by ambulance to the Gilbert Bain Hospital with suspected broken ribs. A hospital spokeswoman said his condition was “stable”.

The accident appears to have happened when steel beams were being lifted off a lorry and put into position for assembly by the man operating a small wheeled crane.

The small crane, which is designed to be able to move carrying a load of up to three tonnes and was carrying a one-tonne beam at the time, somehow fell onto the trailer of the lorry and the beam fell on top of the crane.

Realising he was going to fall, the operator managed to get out of the crane’s cab and roll under the trailer.

The site is owned by Slap, the property arm of Shetland Charitable Trust, and the £6 million project is being built by Hunter & Morrison.

SCT financial director Jeff Goddard said the health and safety executive had been informed and a full investigation would be carried out. He said: “At this stage we are concerned for the crane driver but we know he is being well looked after.

“There is no obvious cause for the accident. We don’t really know what caused the crane to topple and it appears to be an unfortunate accident. It shows that building sites need to be treated with respect.”

Coincidentally Mr Goddard had been at a health and safety meeting at the site that morning and was happy with the way it was run. He said it was a “tidy site” and the project appeared to be going well.


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