HSE recommends ministers abolish crane register and 12 other health and safety regulations

The Health and Safety Executive has recommended to government that regulations covering the safety of tower cranes should be scrapped as part of a move to revoke 13 health and safety regulations.

The HSE said its board had agreed proposals to revoke a number of regulations as part of HSE’s programme of work to make the health and safety system easier to understand to help increase levels of compliance.

In a statement the HSE said: “Following consideration of consultation responses and HSE’s expert views, the board agreed to recommend the revocation of 13 of the 14 legislative measures put to them, agreeing that they can be removed without any compromise on health and safety.

“This is because they duplicate protections found in other more recent regulations, are redundant or do not deliver the intended benefits.

“The Board stressed the importance of engaging with employers and employees to ensure that there is a clear understanding that the required standards remain the same and that the changes will simply remove duplication of regulation.

“The Board has asked for additional information on the work that is being undertaken to maintain standards if the Docks Regulations 1988 are removed and will make a decision on whether to recommend revocation once this has been provided.

“All recommendations will go to the minister for decision in due course.”

The recommendations include abolishing the crane register, which has been in place for two-and-a-half years requires firms to notify it of tower cranes they erect and confirm that they have been thoroughly examined.

It was established following a campaign, supported by Building, to increase crane safety after a tower crane in Battersea collapsed killing two men.

The HSE’s board report said the board had made the recommendation to abolish the crane register despite there being “no overall clear majority either in favour, or against” the move to revoke the regulations following a consultation on the proposal earlier this year.

The HSE’s consultation on abolishing the regulation received 86 responses but it said arguments for keeping the regulation “represent assertion of the perceived benefits of the regulations and its associated register more than evidence for what the benefits actually are”.