HSE launches consultation on safety rules cull

Iain Withers

Industry views sought on axing of tower crane safety register and other measures

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a public consultation into the culling of a range of safety rules, including the proposed axing of the tower crane register.

The HSE is consulting on proposals to axe 14 safety measures in total, including regulations relating to construction workers wearing head protection on sites.

The HSE argues the measures have no “direct health and safety benefits” and that other safety rules provide adequate protection to workers and the public.

But the proposal to close the tower crane register has sparked anger from safety campaigners.

Liliana Alexa – who campaigned for the the tower crane register after her 23-year-old son Michael was killed in a tower crane collapse in Battersea – said in December the proposal was “like a slap in my face”.

The register requires firms to notify the HSE whenever a tower crane is erected and confirm that it has been thoroughly examined.

But the HSE said in consultation documents published last week that “there is no evidence that the intended effects of [the register] are being realized in any significant way” and “costs to both dutyholders and to HSE have been higher than were estimated”.

The HSE also argued there would be no detrimental effects from removal of the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 as the provision of adequate head protection on construction sites was covered by other regulations.

The other 12 regulations do not relate directly to construction.

Construction firms have until the 4 July to submit their views on the proposals to the HSE.

The consultation can be found online here.

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