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    HSE SAFETY ALERT: TOWER CRANE BRAKES

    Collapse of tower crane jib in high winds prompts HSE warning

    HSE has issued Safety Alert Bulletin No: CON2 –2018Tower Crane, Slew Brakes and Release Mechanism Maintenance.

    This Alert advises on the steps to be taken to ensure that tower crane slew brakes and their release mechanisms are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair and to ensure that the addition of accessories to the tower crane structure do not compromise the free slew characteristics of the jib such as to contribute to the potential for collapse.

    The Alert is prompted by a current HSE investigation into the collapse of a tower crane jib in high wind. The information is issued “without prejudice to any ongoing investigations”.

    Action required

    Tower crane owners and users should read the full Alert. HSE state that the specific actions require are:

    “Those who own, use, inspect, maintain tower cranes must ensure that:

    • A tower crane’s slew motor brakes and their release mechanisms should all be inspected at the same time and maintained to ensure the same efficient state, efficient working order and good repair;

    • Tower crane components i.e. slew motors, slew brakes, brake mechanisms, should contain unique reference markings to enable component identification and traceability throughout inspection/maintenance regimes;

    • Tower crane components should be traceable in any associated inspection and maintenance documentation. Inspection and maintenance documentation shall permit individual crane component reference markings and all information/observations/measurements to be recorded against that component;

    • The inspection and maintenance system permits the re-assignment and traceability of crane components between different cranes; and

    • Size and location of crane signage, advertising, posters, illuminated media etc. should meet with the crane manufacturer’s approval and specifications before any such additions are made.”

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