The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is investigating links between the crane collapse in Croydon last month and the Canary Wharf collapse in 2000, after it emerged that “a number of people” had worked at both sites.

Some members of staff at Select Plant Hire, whose crane collapsed at Croydon on 2 June, were employed at Hewden Tower Cranes in May 2000, when one of its cranes collapsed in Canary Wharf, killing three workers.

Both accidents happened during climbing operations, and Ian Simpson, an HSE inspector, told Building last month that the circumstances were “virtually identical”.

An HSE spokesperson said: “A number of people at the Croydon site also worked at Canary Wharf. It is being taken into account.”

As with Canary Wharf, the Croydon investigation has focused on the management regime, specifically the training of plant operatives. The Canary Wharf investigation, which ended in 2003, found that Hewden had no formal examination system for its climbing frames, but concluded that the company’s maintenance regime was not responsible for the collapse. The HSE was unable to say definitively what had caused the accident.