Select committee backs Building’s Safer Skyline campaign and voices concerns about HSE resourcing

The HSE should “urgently” set up a national register of cranes to ensure health and safety protocols are met, according to the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

Safer Skyline campaign

The proposal, one of three called for by Building’s Safer Skyline campaign, is backed by the DWP Select Committee in a report published today on the Health and Safety Commission.

It said: “We are extremely concerned at the number of incidents and fatalities involving tower cranes and other plant on construction sites and call on the HSE to urgently bring forward proposals such as a national register of plant including ownership, age, design type, date of last inspection and any other relevant factors.”

The Safer Skyline campaign called for a public register of inspections to tower cranes, alongside an urgent HSE blitz on tower crane safety and more rigorous checks on cranes over 10 years old.

The report also expresses fears that the HSE’s inspectorate is “not adequately resourced” to hold up health and safety standards in the construction industry.

The number of full-time construction inspectors in the HSE has dropped to 124, the lowest figure since the construction division was launched in 2002.

The report says: “We are convinced there is a correlation between inspection and safety standards. The recent 28% rise in construction fatalities underlines the need for more resources.”

Alan Ritchie, general secretary of construction union UCATT, said: “Workplaces are made safer through a high profile approach to inspections. It is time the HSE bosses stopped doing an impression of an ostrich and recognised the facts.”