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CPA ISSUES WARNING OVER CRANE SITE SECURITY

Main contractors reminded to prevent unauthorised access to sites

The UK’s Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has issued a reminder to main contractors that they must take all practical measures to ensure the security of project sites and to prevent unauthorised people from gaining access to tower cranes and other equipment.

The reminder follows the recent press coverage of a man who climbed a tower crane in Southampton and posted a video of their stunt on the internet. CPA Chief Executive Colin Wood said:

principal contractors must take responsibility for site security, and make sure that unauthorised people cannot get in, whatever the time of day or night. Construction sites and construction plant can be hazardous places for the untrained, and it goes without saying that climbing a tower crane without proper protective measures is just foolhardy and dangerous.”

“These irresponsible publicity seekers just do not consider the unnecessary stress and upset this stunt would have caused for innocent people if it had gone wrong. They also do not consider the impact on the emergency services who may have to put themselves at risk to rescue trespassers who get into trouble. There are many controlled opportunities for thrill seekers which do not involve trespassing or risking a detrimental impact on construction personnel or the general public.”

The CPA point out that there is a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 Section 3 for contractors to safeguard members of the public, as well as a clear duty under Regulation 13(6) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 for the contractor to take reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised access to the site.

Whole industry has a role to play

The CPA Tower Crane Information Note (TIN009) illustrates preventive action which can be taken where the Principal Contractor risk assessment shows that there is possibility of unauthorised access up the crane tower/structure.  This involves provision of a horizontal barrier and trapdoor in the interior of the tower with an external anti-climbing fan at the same level.

Colin Wood continued:

“The long summer evenings and good weather may act as an extra incentive for the thrill-seeker, but safety and security are year-round issues. The whole industry has a role to play here. The CPA thinks that care must be taken to avoid adding further publicity to a dangerous practice. This can only increase the reward for the publicity seekers and encourage copycats.”

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