11 people have died in crane accidents in the last seven years and a number of firms have been found guilty of health and safety breaches. In a recent interview, the Works and Pensions Secretary, James Purnell, discussed the need for a register:
“[it] could make a significant difference to the safety of the people who work in the construction industry… the register will make it easier to monitor those [construction sites] not living up to the correct standards…”
The proposals for the register include:
- A consultation on how the register will work, to start in summer 2009. The consultation will consider the possibility of an annual “MOT” for all tower cranes over 10 years old.
- A voluntary register, to start in April 2010.
- The register to become mandatory at some point in the future, enforced by HSE inspectors.
Until the consultation is over, it is uncertain what information the register will contain. However, as a minimum, it is likely to include details of the age, location and ownership of a crane.
PLC Construction will monitor developments. When the register comes into force, we will add a requirement for registration to our form of crane oversailing licence.