27 April 2001
Press statement on the crane incident at Queen Elizabeth Old Students' Association Primary School
The cause of the incident was that the ground supporting the piling rig became soft, following heavy rain on 9 April 2001. Due to the soft ground condition, when moving the piling rig, one side settled causing the rig to overturn. The supervisor and the piling rig operator did not give sufficient care to the standard procedure of checking the ground conditions, before moving the piling rig. The machine which overturned has been removed from site, as has the crane operator.
Prior to the use of any crane on KCRC projects, operators must have a valid crane operator's licence issued by the Construction Industry Training Authority (CITA). The crane itself cannot be used without all statutory testing and inspection certificates being available and checked by KCRC's Safety Section.
The Labour Department were advised of the dangerous occurrence and have initiated their investigation of the incident. The Corporation will act upon any comments and/or recommendations made by the Labour Department.
KCRC has conducted an investigation with the Contractor, and the following actions will be implemented with immediate effect -

(a)  Piling works in close proximity to the school will only be carried out outside of school hours.
(b)  The Contractor will implement a stricter "permit to move" system, to enhance safety procedures in moving cranes.
(c)  The Contractor will, to the satisfaction of KCRC's Chief Construction Safety Manager, re-assess all of his crane operators' competencies.  Furthermore, the Contractor will be conduct refresher training of all operators and supervisors associated with crane operations on the site.

The KCRC and the Contractor regret that they have caused alarm, especially by the Contractor carrying out further works before the necessary understandings had been reached with the school authorities and the extra safety measures had been put in place. The Contractor has stopped all piling work close to the school and will not resume until the additional safety measures are implemented, with the concurrence of the school and KCRC. Should the school still feel that it is necessary for them to seek expert advice, KCRC confirms that it will be responsible for the related expense.