Wednesday, 15 July 2009
DP World Southampton suspends use of remaining Morris cranes
DP WORLD Southampton has suspended the operation of three Morris cranes of the same design as the one that collapsed onto boxship NYK Themis on Monday, pending an investigation into what it describes as “concerns” over the units.
While a statement from Britain’s number two container terminal did not specify what these concerns might be, it did insist that on initial indications, it is unlikely that this latest accident had a similar cause as an earlier boom collapse in January 2008.
Meanwhile, shipside operations resumed on the Tuesday night shift following consultations with the Health and Safety Executive, with six quay gantry cranes and a mobile harbour crane available for operation.
“We are continuing an active dialogue with the Health and Safety Executive regarding the accident investigation and the status of our other Morris-built cranes,” DP World added.
The operator of crane six, injured in the latest accident, has been named as Jay Squibb, who is reportedly in a critical but stable condition after being taken to Southampton General Hospital. According to the local newspaper report, two brothers of Mr Squibb were working at the terminal on the same shift.
An independent investigation to determine the cause of the 2008 incident involving crane eight was concluded late last year. But the company stated: “We are not in a position to make any statement regarding the identified cause pending the conclusion of the HSE’s investigation.”
Crane eight had undergone a 4 m boom extension from contractor Seward Wyon during 2006, enabling it to handle bigger vessels, while crane six had not. Both units are known to be of 1993 year of build,
Sources in Southampton claim that three of the terminal’s cranes underwent “recommended precautionary works” on HSE orders in the wake of last year’s collapse. But it is unclear whether the crane that fell down on Monday is one of them, and a DP World spokeswoman was unable to offer immediate clarification of the point.
I'm sure everyone at Felixstowe wishes Mr Squibb a speedy recovery.