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TOWER CRANE REGISTER IMMINENT

New laws on tower cranes laid before Parliament

The Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations 2010 will come into force on 6 April 2010 and include a register of conventional tower cranes.

The register is part of a package of measures being taken to improve tower crane safety. HSE is working closely with the construction industry to achieve this objective.

Register will encourage high standards

Health and Safety Minister Lord McKenzie said:

“The new register will encourage high standards of safety on site and give the public confidence that these huge machines are being operated responsibly.

“The register is just one of the stepsthe Government is taking to improve safety. HSE is developing specific competencies for crane erectors and dismantlers, conducting research into crane design standards, examining the effect of wind loading on cranes and looking to better understand the causes of crane failures internationally.”

Judith Hackitt, the Chair of HSE, said:

“In developing these regulations we have taken a common sense and proportionate approach to the registration scheme, building on valuable consultation with industry. The register will help us all – regulators, the industry and government – deliver improved safety performance.”

The new regulations place a ‘duty to notify’ on the employer. Employers will have to notify the HSE of relevant information, including the site address and the name and address of the crane owners.

HSE will have to be notified within 14 days of a through examination of the crane, which must be carried out following installation or re-installation on a site before it can put into service.

Part of a package of measures

Cranes already erected when the regulations come into force will have to be registered within 28 days. Electronic notification will be available via the HSE website.

All information notified to the HSE will be contained in the register and the public will be able to request details.

Around 1800 conventional tower cranes are thought to be operated in Britain, with around 1300 in use at any one time.

Guidance on the new legal duties is available on the HSE’s website. More detailed information for duty holders on the practical aspects of notification, and how the public can make enquiries about particular cranes, will be made available in the coming months.

The construction industry has already taken a number of actions to improve tower crane safety. HSE and the construction industry are now working on a new package of measures to improve tower crane safety including:

  • creating a competency requirements framework for crane erectors and dismantlers;
  • undertaking more research into the effect of wind loading on cranes;
  • consideration of the adequacy of crane design standards;
  • greater research to improve understanding of crane accidents at an international level; and
  • greater promotion of the industry safe crane campaign to improve public confidence in crane safety.

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