Opinion Former Article

CPA: Strategic forum for construction tower crane group makes further progress on achieving objectives

The third SFfC Tower Crane meeting took place on the 21st of April 2008, to review and discuss progress on achieving the group's action plan and to make a real difference to the health and safety practices within the tower crane sector:

1. Site Induction Working Group - has agreed a more challenging brief, to consider not only site inductions, but also the planning, checks and liaison process required before erection, climbing or dismantling cranes. It will create a final guidance document that includes management processes with clearer lines of accountability by the end of June 2008.

2. Competency Working Group - has created a matrix of current competency training schemes. It will now clarify expected levels of competency for individuals e.g. supervisors. A final document will be published by the end of June 2008.

3. Maintenance & Thorough Examination Working Group - has now completed its Maintenance and Thorough Examination guidance, which will be launched on the 13th of May at SED. The group will now focus on communicating these guidelines to industry.

4. Operator Working Conditions Working Group - is in the process of drafting a Code of Practice providing best practice guidance for the industry on operator working conditions. Areas of focus include hours of work; fitness for work and environmental factors. Guidance will be published free of charge by the end of August 2008.

5. Sharing Information on Near Hits - an email address has been created for members to communicate incidents and near hits during the month of May, providing a snapshot of industry issues. Any trends or lessons learnt will be communicated to the industry. This initiative will be rolled out to the wider industry and members of the public in the coming months.

6. Communication to the Public - a proposal has been produced to establish a mechanism for enabling members of the pubic to access information on Tower Crane activity locally and quickly. The firming up of this proposal will continue over the next couple of months.

The group agreed that significant progress has already been made, with anticipated conclusions in many areas over the next couple of months. The next meeting will take place on the 9th of July 2008.

John Spanswick, Chair of group, said, "I am very encouraged by the progress made so far by the group, I look forward to seeing tangible actions being completed in the coming months for the benefit of industry."

Notes for editors:

1. The Strategic Forum for Construction Health and Safety Group, chaired by John Spanswick, is a sub group of the Strategic Forum for Construction. It is the only construction forum that seeks to represent the whole of the construction community. It comprises senior members of the constituent organisations who are committed to addressing the health and safety issues of the construction industry through ownership, leadership and partnership. The forum's activities are both proactive and reactive but at all times seek to work in partnership across the industry to achieve long term improvements.

2. The Tower Crane Group was created as a forum to improve the planning, management, operations and communication of tower crane activities across the whole of the construction industry. Members of the group represent the key players in the industry and beyond in relation to such lifting operations.

Further information:

Shelley Atkinson-Frost
Director, Health and Safety
55 Tufton Street
Westminster, SW1P 3QL
Tel: 020 7227 4553
Fax: 020 7227 4521
Email: shelley.atkinson-frost@thecc.org.uk

Simon Storer, External Affairs Director
Construction Products Association
Tel: 020 7323 3770
Fax: 020 7323 0307
Mobile:07702 862 257
E-mail: simon.storer@constructionproducts.org.uk ">


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