Crane Regulation consultation

This protest was led by the Battersea Crane Disaster Group, the Construction Safety Campaign, Families against Corporate Killers (FACK) which were also supported and joined by trades unions UCATT, Unite, GMB and FBU and trades union councils and shop stewards committee organisations from various locations throughout Britain.
This began with a protest outside the offices of the Department of Work and Pensions with a delegation who unsuccessful sought to meet the minister Chris Grayling. This delegation consisted of families who have lost loved ones because of unsafe work, this was led by Liliana Alexa mother of Michael Alexa who lost his life after a crane collapsed in Battersea south west London in 2006.
Secretary of the Construction Safety Campaign, Tony O’Brien, told the 50-strong crowd of protesters that an early-day motion has been signed by 15 MPs to challenge the decision to remove the Notification of Tower Cranes Regulations.  He said that every MP should sign this motion.
In the afternoon a meeting was held in the House of Commons hosted by Jeremy Corbyn Labour MP. 
In this meeting comparisons were made between the billions of pounds in fraud being carried out by bankers who’s activity has now led to the austerity measures being suffered by the hard working people of Britain with major cuts to public expenditure and with it their attempts to greatly downgrade our health and safety, “O’ Brien said if they get away with this then this will lead to thousands more deaths disabilities and industrial disease , we required better safety from work activities not less and therefore intend to fight these attacks, as such this will be the first of many protests to highlight our concerns.”
1) Remember: Peter Clark, Martin Burgess, Michael Whittard, killed at Canary Wharf 2000; Gary Miles, Stephen Boatman, killed at Worthing 2005; Michael Alexa, Jonathan Cloke, killed at Battersea 2006; Zbigniew Swirzynski, killed at Liverpool 2007; Mark Thornton killed at Liverpool 2007.
2) The UK was one of the worst countries for having tower crane accidents. 3) In the decade before the crane register HSE say there were 60 crane accidents, 9 deaths and 25 serious injuries.
4) Other countries have stricter crane safety laws including compulsory licensing (certification) of all crane operatives.
5) The crane hire industry is being allowed to police itself. Independent third party examinations under LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) are not compulsory. Yet when Falcon Cranes – the firm at Battersea – had its 180 cranes taken out by HSE in 2007 – 10% failed HSE tests.
6) The Canary Wharf collapse in 2000 was the third major safety scare involving cranes on Canary Wharf in the previous six weeks and investigations found the safety paperwork had gone missing.
7) The Löfstedt review wants self-employed workers who pose no risk to others to be exempt from health and safety laws, weakening of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, scrapping the Construction (Safety Hard Hat) Head Protection Regulations 1989, and the RIDDOR 1995 Regulations have already been watered down.
8) Deregulation is not going away – Cameron and his ministers have a New Year resolution to “kill off health and safety culture for good” seeing it as an albatross around the neck of British business.
9) Löfstedt is now working on “consolidating” 35 regulations – which could mean further attacks.
10) Because safety must come before profits and we must keep death off building sites.

Do we consult over a meal with Cameron : £250,000 

OR  Crane Regulations costing £51, 000?

After a number of high profile crane collapses resulting in tragic deaths, The Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group, the Construction Safety Campaign and others were instrumental in getting Health and Safety legislation brought in and established in 2010.

These were The Tower Crane regulations and they act as an MOT for cranes.

Now, two years later, Lofstedt and the Health and Safety Executive want to review the legislation and put it back out to consultation! He  intimates that Crane Regulations are somehow not needed! The aim is to get rid of them.

To renege on the crane regulations reflects an amazing lack of humanity and care from those who are meant to be looking after our – the people’s – Health and Safety. It can only be described as “senseless.” Sitting in his office, Lofstedt and his colleagues perhaps should answer one question: if he worked on a site, would he prefer to work with a crane that has an MOT or not? 

The aim from Lofstedt to get rid of Tower Crane Regulations reminds me of a story I was once told: 

A mountainous road was very dangerous and there were a number of cases of cars having accidents by skidding off the edge. So, to solve the problem of the dangerous bend on this high road, barriers and signs were installed. The problem was solved and accidents were reduced to virtually nil. Two years later the authorities stated that there were no accidents on the road any more so there was no need for the barriers: remove the barriers and there will be no maintenance costs any longer. Their logic is just like the Government’s man Professor Lofstedt – short sighted.

So why even think about removing Tower Crane Regulations which were only agreed and passed in 2010? It is common sense, isn’t it, to have them?

So why are they considering taking them away? …. Cost. 

Fagin himself would be shocked by Professor Lofstedt’s  conclusions and this Government’s actions.

MOTs for Tower Cranes cost the industry £51,000 per annum. This makes a minor dent in the building firms’ profits. This is at the root of it.

Compare this to  Former Party Treasurer Peter Cruddas,  talking to rich donors, stated  to have a meal and a meeting with Cameron costs,

“Two hundred grand to £250,000 is premier league. What you would get is, when we talk about your donations, the first thing we want to do is to get you at the Cameron/ Osborne dinners…”

 If these Health and Safety Regulations are removed, Government will be responsible ultimately for deaths and their man, Professor Lofstedt. 

I have in front of me Heath and Safety Executive safety alert on the use of Tower Cranes 17th October 2006, ‘This alert has been prompted by a number of serious incidents involving tower cranes in recent years.’ If Lofstedt, the Health and Safety Executive and the government get their way, and get rid of the MOT for Tower Cranes, how long will it be until other safety alerts on the use of tower cranes are issued? 


UCATT conference (May 2012) passed:

We are extremely concerned at the key recommendations made in the Löfstedt review of health and safety.

We are alarmed at the effects these recommendations could have for all construction workers.

We are well aware that construction is still one of the most dangerous industries and these recommendations and continuing deregulation of health and safety by the Tory led coalition government will only make matters worse.

We agree that if these proposed recommendations are implemented it would be disastrous for our industry.

Löfstedt proposes self-employed workers who pose no risk to others should be exempt from health and safety laws; there are proposals to review and change the Work at Height Regulations 2005, the Construction (Safety Hard Hat) Head Protection Regulations 1989, to scrap the recent Tower Crane Register Regulations 2010 and a weakening of RIDDOR 1995 Regulations.

We agree that these proposals are an outrage and we must do all we can to stop them being implemented.

We call for a vigorous campaign against these proposals, lobby the HSE, lobby the government with the help of our union sponsored Members of Parliament and arrange for a mass demonstration against the recommended proposals.

We call for support for the protest outside the Department of Work and Pensions

12 midday and the lobby of the House of Commons 3rd July 2012 

– the day before consultation ends on the Tower Crane and Hard Hat Regulations

called by Battersea Crane Disaster Action Group, The Construction Safety Campaign and Hazards 


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