Tower crane audit reveals limited inspection knowledge among owners

Results are in from the latest WorkSafe WA inspection campaign for tower crane maintenance across both metropolitan and regional construction sites.

The audit findings suggest that tower crane owners have a limited understanding of correct procedures for major inspections of the cranes.

Most of the cranes were following the recommended inspection and maintenance schedules set forth by the manufacturer’s instructions or in accordance with Australian standards.

However in some cases major reports had been conducted but had not been signed off by the responsible competent person or professional engineer.

WorkSafe WA Director Sally North stated that the aim was to ensure that all tower cranes are being operated safely, and reminds owners that the manufacturer does not always specify a design life standard.

“Tower cranes are high hazard plant, and as they age it’s crucial that they undergo a major inspection to assess their continued safe operation,” Ms North said.

 “For many of the tower cranes the design life is not specified by the manufacturer, and the necessary information on when to conduct major inspections is not provided.”

“In situations such as this, the major inspection must be conducted as per the relevant Standard ten years at the most after the crane is commissioned.”

“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.”

The tower cranes targeted in the investigation were all aged 10 years or older and checked for evidence of prior major inspections by competent persons.

Ms North has explained that the purpose of the program was to ensure that tower crane owners understood their WHS responsibilities and continue to operate safely.

For more information visit WorkSafe WA.

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