New UK tower crane laws

By Euan Youdale30 November 2009

The board of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in the UK, has approved new regulations governing the use of tower cranes following a three-month comment period.

During this time 100 comments were collected from unions, construction contractors and other stakeholders. The rules are now before government ministers for final approval and, if accepted, will take effect in the UK during April 2010.

The proposed regulations will require employers to provide notification to the HSE within 14 days of a thorough examination of a crane. They also require cranes already erected when the regulations take effect to be registered within 28 days, and will provide electronic notification via the HSE Website.

The submitted data includes the location of the crane, name and address of the crane's owners, identifying information for that crane, the date of its thorough examination, details of the employer for whom the examination was made, and whether any defect posing a risk of serious injury was detected.

"There have been a number of high-profile and tragic failures of tower cranes in recent years and there is widespread interest in finding ways to improve safety," said Philip White, HSE's chief construction inspector.

"The public consultation has helped us to develop a proportionate response to an established risk. We have learned a great deal from recent incidents and are working together with hirers, suppliers, manufacturers, and stakeholders to ensure that anything we have learned is acted upon."

About 1,800 conventional tower cranes are used in Britain, with about 1,300 in use at any given time

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