Safety agency ‘has rejected’ calls from a select committee to bring in national scheme

The Health and Safety Executive has snubbed calls for a national register of tower cranes on the grounds that it would involve “too much paperwork”, it is understood.

MPs on the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) select committee had asked the HSE to reconsider creating a national tower crane register, after it rejected government proposals in July.

However, a senior source, who has been discussing the issue with the HSE, said it was resisting a national register because it would be “too unwieldy and bureaucratic”. He said the safety body had been trying to find ways to improve safety without the paperwork.

The DWP select committee joined calls for a public register of checks on tower cranes after Building’s Safer Skyline campaign in 2007.

The HSE should be doing everything in its power to create this register.

Liliana Alexa

Liliana Alexa, secretary of the Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group, lost her son in a crane accident in 2006. She said: “This has to be put in place. People have to take this register seriously, and the HSE, a government safety body, should be doing everything in its power to create this.”

Shelley Atkinson-Frost, director of health and safety at the Strategic Forum, said the HSE was drafting a response to the select committee, but confirmed the HSE neither “endorsed nor supported the recommendation”.

The HSE said that no decision had yet been taken on the register. It said: “It is a proposal we will be considering.”

Building’s Safer Skyline campaign was launched after a spate of tower crane accidents in 2006 and 2007.