REUTERS | Lisi Niesner

Government proposes tower crane register

The Government has announced that it is planning a tower crane register. This follows the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) similar announcement earlier this year (see Building).

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.

5 thoughts on “Government proposes tower crane register

  1. It has been reported by Construction News that the register may have to be limited to cranes that are “assisted-erected”, that is, where the parts are brought to site and the crane is erected in situ.

    The HSE has made this recommendation to ensure the register can operate from the April 2010 deadline. If the recommendation is implemented, it would affect about 1,000 cranes.

    The HSE estimates another 500-700 cranes are “self-erectors”, that is, cranes that are a single unit that unfolds to form a crane. These may be added to the register once it is operating.

    The HSE has also recommended the register is open to the public.

  2. It has been reported in Building that the United Crane Operators Association (UCOA) wants the crane register to include the most dangerous types of crane, namely mobile and crawler cranes. Terry Duxbury, co-director of UCOA said:

    “More accidents happen across the world with these cranes than with tower cranes. It’s simply that the latter are monstrous things, so everyone takes notice when they fall over.”

    The formal consultation on the register is due to start in summer 2009.

  3. The HSE has published its proposals for a tower crane register, which will require information about conventional tower cranes to be registered with the HSE following their installation, or re-installation, on a construction site.

    The deadline for responding to the proposals is 9 October 2009.

    For more information, see our Legal update.

  4. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced its proposals for a tower crane register, following a three–month public consultation. The register is expected to come into force on 6 April 2010 and will cover conventional tower cranes on construction sites.

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