The Health and Safety Executive manages a registry of tower cranes that will be in effect April 6, 2010.

Guidance Preps UK Construction Sector for Crane Reports

Beginning April 6, the Health and Safety Executive must be notified within 14 calendar days of a competent person's inspection of a tower crane that is assembled on site.

The Health and Safety Executive's registry of tower cranes will soon be in effect, so the agency -- the British equivalent of OSHA -- has posted guidance to help the construction industry comply with the new regulations. Only tower cranes assembled on a construction site are covered.

Whoever is responsible for ensuring a crane is thoroughly examined by a competent person should also ensure the notification to HSE is made. The rules say such an exam is required after a crane's installation before it is used for the first time on a site; when a crane on site is reconfigured, such as when the height of the mast is changed; when the crane is on site long enough for the existing exam to expire; and "if exceptional circumstances liable to jeopardize the safety of the crane have occurred."

The regulations apply to conventional tower cranes, defined as a "slewing jib type crane with jib located at the top of a vertical tower and which is assembled on a construction site from components."

Once a crane has been thoroughly examined, it may be used immediately -- the regulations do not prevent its use during the 14-day period after its exam during which the notification is required.

The information to be submitted includes the name and address of the crane's owner or lessor, the construction site's address, serial number or some other information that identifies the crane, and whether the exam "revealed any defects involving imminent risk of serious personal injury," according to the guidance.

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