Government proposes to scrap measure as part of regulations cull

Safety groups have reacted with dismay to the government’s proposal to axe the HSE’s tower crane register.

The register was established only a year and a half ago to counter a spate of eight high-profile deaths in tower crane accidents since 2000.

Tony O’Brien, secretary of the Construction Safety Campaign, which campaigned for the register in the wake of the 2006 Battersea Crane Disaster that killed a crane driver and a 23-year-old member of the public, said he was appalled by the government’s proposal.

O’Brien claimed the register was being “suffocated at birth” and had had no time to prove its effectiveness.

He said: “This is appalling and totally wrong. [The register] put firms on their toes and made sure cranes were safe.”

The Notification of Tower Crane Regulations requires firms to notify the HSE whenever a tower crane is erected and confirm that it has been thoroughly examined.

The measure was one of many put forward for scrapping in this week’s Löfstedt Review, which aims to get rid of 50% of health and safety laws within three years.

The report also calls for a review of the Construction Design and Management Regulations.

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.”