Trade body calls for inclusion of ‘more accident-prone’ mobile and crawler cranes on HSE list

A new register of cranes, designed to prevent fatal accidents, fails to include the most dangerous types of crane, according to a trade body.

Terry Duxbury, co-director of the United Crane Operators Association (UCOA), said accidents were more likely to occur using mobile and crawler cranes and called for them be included register.

He said: “More accidents happen across the world with these cranes than with tower cranes. It’s simply that the latter are monstrous things, so everyone takes notice when they fall over.”

His comments came as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) decided to launch a public consultation on the register, which it agreed to set up in January after pressure from Building’s Safer Skyline campaign. The consultation is expected to run from 20 July to 9 October.

Duxbury has kept a log of crane accidents across the globe. Out of a total of 66 recorded this year, he said 32 involved mobile and crawler cranes, compared with seven involving tower cranes.

Tower cranes are monstrous things, so everyone takes notice when they fall over

Terry Duxbury, UCOA

Mobile and crawler cranes are attached to a moving platform whereas tower cranes are fixed to the ground.

The Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group said it would support the UCOA’s call. Liliana Alexa, its secretary, said: “We will push for all cranes to be put on the register, alongside all other equipment on site.”

But Colin Wood, chief executive of the Construction Plant-Hire Association, said: “It would be impractical and onerous to list every single mobile crane used, since many are used for one day.”

An HSE spokesperson said: “The UCOA will be consulted when formal consultation on the register begins next month.”