Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations

The Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations 2010 (S.I. 2010/333)

Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (S.I. 2010/811)


2.11 The proposal to revoke the Notification of Conventional of Tower Cranes Regulations 2010 (the “Regulations”), together with amending Regulations3 arises from recommendations contained in Professor Löfstedt’s report Reclaiming Health and Safety For All. Revocation of the Regulations would also require revocation of regulation 21 and Schedule 16 of the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, which set a fee for each notification made under the Tower Crane Regulations.

3 The Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (S.I. 2010/811)

2.12 The Regulations were introduced following a series of incidents involving tower cranes in which eight people (including one member of the public) were killed and more were seriously injured. These incidents led to calls for further improvements in tower crane safety.

2.13 In its 2008 report, the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry into the work of HSE raised concerns about the number of incidents and fatal injuries involving tower cranes on construction sites. It called on HSE to bring forward proposals to improve the safe use of tower cranes through the introduction of a tower crane register, which the HSE Board agreed to. In parallel, HSE continued with a substantial programme of work with industry to better understand the causes of structural failures of tower cranes, and to develop comprehensive guidance aimed at those erecting, dismantling, examining and operating tower cranes.

2.14 The Regulations came into force in April 2010. They were amended at the same time by the amendment Regulations, which clarified the scope of the substantive Regulations. The Regulations require employers who have primary responsibility for the safety of cranes to notify certain information to HSE. This includes name and address of the crane owner and the site address, as well as sufficient information to identify the crane and the date of its last thorough examination. This information is recorded on a database within a separate website ( – ‘the Tower Crane Register’).

2.15 The scope of the Regulations was restricted to conventional tower cranes (those whose erection is not automated) rather than self-erecting tower cranes. Self-erecting tower cranes are often present on construction sites for such short periods that their inclusion within the scope of the Regulations was considered to be impractical.

Rationale for revocation

2.16 In his report Professor Löfstedt noted that, when these Regulations were put into place, the Impact Assessment (IA) carried out then did not predict that they would have “direct health and safety benefits, i.e. reductions in injury or ill-health”, but that the main benefit of a tower crane register would be “an increase in public assurance”. He commented that it is not clear that a statutory requirement to register tower cranes is the most appropriate way to provide public assurance and suggests that non-regulatory methods should be explored.

2.17 The IA (Appendix B) supports Professor Löfstedt’s comments. It includes a reassessment of the estimated costs and benefits found in the earlier IA in light of the operation of the Regulations and associated Register since they were put in place. In summary, it finds that:

2.18 The findings of the IA suggest that revocation of the Regulations will:

2.19 HSE would like feedback from consultees on a number of assumptions made in the IA and would be grateful for responses to the questions set out below.

2.20 HSE will continue its work with the industry as part of wider efforts to raise safety standards. There is now a comprehensive suite of guidance published by the Strategic Forum for Construction Plant Safety Group (PSG) and the Construction Plant-hire Association Tower Crane Interest Group (TCIG) which represent the interests for almost all tower crane companies in the UK including the UK Contractors Group. Topics covered include: the competence of those erecting and dismantling tower cranes; thorough examination, inspection and maintenance of tower cranes; and the management of the installation and dismantling process. The guidance is well established and HSE Inspectors will continue to use it to check that the risks from tower cranes are being managed effectively.

2.21 HSE continues to influence the standards to which tower cranes are manufactured. HSE’s membership of the industry groups referred to above facilitates monitoring and revision of guidance and the development and promotion of any new practical standards should it be required. HSE endorses a TCIG-led industry notification system of Technical Information Notes which enable the industry to disseminate information on new or emerging issues