Mother who lost son in Battersea crane disaster hits out at HSE plans to scrap tower crane register

The mother of a 23-year-old killed in the 2006 Battersea crane disaster has lashed out at the government, after it proposed axing a safety measure designed to improve tower crane safety.

Liliana Alexa, whose son Michael was killed after a tower crane collapsed on the family’s block of flats, said the cost-saving move was “like a slap on my face”.

The HSE’s tower crane register was selected to be scrapped in this week’s Löfstedt Review, which aims to get rid of 50% of health and safety laws within three years.

The register requires firms to notify the HSE whenever a tower crane is erected and confirm that it has been thoroughly examined.

Alexa, who helped set up the Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group and who campaigned for the tower crane register, said: “It’s very upsetting because you can’t turn the clock back to have my son back but this can have an impact on the safety of sites to this day.”

The register, for which Building alos campaigned, was established only a year and a half ago to counter the eight high-profile deaths in tower crane accidents since 2000.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions, which commissioned the review, said: “We are immediately consulting on the reduction in regulations and would urge anyone who wants to respond to give their view on proposals.”