HSE warns industry of the importance of the safe operation of cranes after last month's crane collapse in Battersea which led to two deaths on a Barratt site

The Health and Safety Executive has issued a safety alert on the use of tower cranes in the wake of last month’s Battersea fatalities and other recent crane collapses.

The alert, which the HSE says has been prompted by “a number of serious incidents” involving tower cranes, follows the death of two people in the collapse on a Barratt Homes site in Battersea last month. The alert asks those responsible for the management of tower cranes to undertake a series of measures, including:

  • Ensuring cranes are erected and dismantled by competent workers with necessary training and experience
  • Companies should draw up written procedures for each type of tower crane based on manufacturers’ instructions, with procedures to be available on site.
  • An independent and impartial person should examine each crane after its erection
  • Pre-use checks to be carried out by the crane operator at the start of each shift
  • In-service inspections should be carried out by the crane operator at weekly intervals, with records kept of the inspections
  • A properly planned maintenance system should be established and used, with replacement parts usually acquired from the original manufacturer.
  • Lifting operations should be properly planned and appropriately supervised.
In a statement, the Health and Safety Executive said: “The HSE today warns the construction industry and in particular those working on projects where tower cranes are in use of the importance of the safe erection, operation, maintenance and dismantling of such cranes.”