A warning has been issued to those involved in the construction of WA sites, with WorkSafe leading the charge when it comes to tower cranes in service.
WorkSafe has confirmed it is conducting a proactive inspection program to look at safety issues relating to tower cranes in service at WA construction sites.
During this inspection program, inspectors will be using a checklist to ensure consistency, looking at areas including:
Item of plant registration
That the crane is registered and the registration number is marked on it, and that evidence of registration is displayed.
That the design of the crane is registered and evidence is available.
Maintenance and inspection
That designer’s or manufacturer’s instructions are available and that the crane is being maintained and inspected in accordance with the written instructions.
That the load chart is written in English and is legible, that operator controls are labelled, that communications are in place between the operator and the ground, and that the operator holds the relevant qualifications.
“As these large items of machinery age, it’s crucial that they undergo a major inspection to assess their continued safe operation,” WorkSafe director Sally North said.
“WorkSafe registers these tower cranes, so we have a database of the cranes that have been registered and can ascertain how long each one has been in service.
“We’ll use this database to identify the potentially high risk tower cranes that are 10 years of age or older, and it is these that inspectors will be examining closely.
“If these tower cranes are not correctly maintained and serviced, there can be a malfunction that can potentially result in an extremely serious incident.”
Ms North noted that the inspection program “will be focusing on whether employers are having tower cranes inspected according to the manufacturer’s instructions or the relevant Australian standard, and that they are being properly maintained”.
“The risks associated with the failure of a tower crane make it crucial that they are maintained and inspected strictly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or the relevant Australian standard,” Ms North said.
“This proactive inspection program is just one in an extensive schedule of programs focusing on particular industries or activities and aimed at providing employers and employees with information on how to make workplaces safer.
“WorkSafe aims to help employers comply with workplace safety and health laws, and we firmly believe that raising awareness is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.
“The primary focus of proactive inspection programs is to deliver information to employers, but enforcement action will be taken during programs if breaches of the laws are found.”