Leading industry figures pledge to improve tower crane safety

The Strategic Forum for Construction Health and Safety Group met with crane operators, manufacturers and safety groups on August 9 to agree an action plan for tower cranes.

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The seven-point plan focuses on improved training and maintenance regimes, with an emphasis on communication between employers, operators and the public. The Forum agreed to meet twice a year to review the plan’s progress.

Although the meeting was represented by most sectors of the construction industry, trade union representatives were not asked to attend.

A Ucatt spokesperson said: “It was disappointing and somewhat short-sighted that we weren’t invited.”

The Seven-Point Action Plan in full:

1. Ensure that site specific inductions are provided to all those in control of tower crane erection, operation and dismantling, with an emphasis on appropriate risk assessment

2. Review the levels and extent of individual competency for all, including operators and those carrying out inspection and maintenance procedures, with a focus on training support

3. Ensure robust and thorough examination and maintenance regimes

4. Improve operator working conditions such as using external crane hoists for access, ensuring adequate welfare facilities and reasonable working hours

5. Improve communications on site amongst those in control of crane operation, including open dialogue between site management and crane operators to ensure that operator concerns can be raised without risk of retribution, such as wind restrictions in adverse weather conditions

6. Better sharing of information in relation to incidents and near hits

7. Improve communication to the public, providing clear information in relation to crane issues including examination processes