The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) must end the delay in publishing its initial findings into the causes of the fatal crane accident that occurred in Bow East London in July, which led to one death.

Unite, the UK’s construction union, wrote to the HSE last month urging it to not to delay publication of the initial findings into what caused the accident in order to lift the cloud of suspicion which currently hangs over the crane operators involved, the company itself, Wolffkran Ltd.

With the removal of the crane likely to take six months, Unite is arguing that the local community need to have the reassurance that the site and all involved with it are safe.

The HSE’s initial findings are also important in order to ensure that similar accidents are prevented from occurring in the future. 

This week, the local council Tower Hamlets admitted that due to how and where the crane collapsed it may take six months before it can be fully removed.

Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “It is vital that the HSE ends the delay and publishes its initial findings into the reasons why a crane tragically collapsed in Bow in July.

 “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.

 “Unite is the recognised union at Wolffkran.  Our members are already having to operate in difficult conditions due to Covid-19 pandemic; it is simply unfair to have unanswered questions about this accident hanging over them.

 “Equally, the only way the industry can learn from this tragedy and ensure it is prevented from happening again is if the HSE’s initial findings are published.

 “If the HSE cannot publish their initial findings for any reason then they must publicly say why and what is causing that delay.”


Notes to editors:

 During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.