Safety watchdog, the HSE, swept in new rules in the first week of April aimed at improving the industry’s record on crane safety.
The new tower crane register lays the onus for checking and registering tower cranes firmly at the feet of main contractors and will be open to public scrutiny.
From now on main contractors need to notify the HSE within 14 days of carrying out a thorough examination of a crane erected on any UK site. Each entry will cost £20The register only targets conventional tower cranes not mobiles or truck mounted towers.. Existing site tower cranes need to be registered by the first week of May.
Contractors can fill the register on online, giving details of the check, the crane and any defects picked up.
The tower crane register was mired in controversy before it even came into force. The Chartered Institution of Builders dismissed the register as pointless, arguing it did not go far enough. And many in the industry see it as little more than a thinly veiled attempt to reassure the public.
The HSE has taken the step of saying it will review the register after 12 months to check it is successfully raising safety standards.
The register forms part of a package of HSE measures raise tower cranes, including a competency requirements framework for erectors and dismantlers.
Research is under way into the effects of wind loading on cranes, and proposals have been tabled to study the adequacy of crane design standards.
Register online at http://www.cranesregister.org.uk