The Government’s new tower crane register comes into force today.
The new regulations place a ‘duty to notify’ on the employer, who will have to notify the Health and Safety Executive of relevant information about the tower crane, following its thorough examination.
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 require tower cranes to be thoroughly examined by a competent person before first use and on a periodic basis
The register is part of a package of measures from the HSE relating to tower cranes, including competency requirements framework for erectors and dismantlers, research into the effects of wind loading on cranes, and proposals to study the adequacy of crane design standards.
Details that must be given to the HSE include the site address where the tower crane is being used, the name and address of the crane owners, details needed to identify the crane, the date of its thorough examination, details of the employer for whom the examination was made and whether any defects posing a risk of serious injury were detected.
Registration will be needed within 14 days of the thorough examination , and cranes already erected when the regulations come into force will need to be registered within 28 days. They will be subject to an administration fee of £20.
The register has been criticised by the construction industry. The Chartered Institute of Building described the register as “pointless”.
Chief construction inspector Philip White admitted the register was “part of a package predominantly about public reassurance”.
The HSE plans to review the register a year after its implementation.
Eight people have been killed in incidents involving tower cranes since 2000, including one member of the public.