Construction firms advised to take time out to assess crane safety after incidents

SINGAPORE - After a spate of worksite accidents involving cranes this year, construction industry associations have encouraged firms to take a break this week to reassess their safety practices.

The Workplace Safety and Health Council noted on its website that there have been seven "major crane-related dangerous occurrences" so far this year, compared to 12 for the whole of 2014. These include a mobile crane toppling over at a Jurong worksite on Monday(9mar) and a crane toppling at a Potong Pasir site in February. No one was injured in either incident.

With the higher rate of crane accidents, it is "vital that industry take action to ensure that lifting operations are performed safely going forward," said the Council.

The WSH Council Crane Safety Taskforce, together with The Singapore Contractor Association Limited (SCAL) and Singapore Crane Association (SCA), has thus encouraged firms to conduct a Safety Time Out for their mobile and tower crane operations this week, from March 9 to 15.

A Safety Time Out is when work on construction sites is paused in order to review safety practices.

For this exercise, firms were encouraged to ensure the safe working condition of their lifting equipment, especially tower and mobile cranes, and to ensure that they have robust "lifting plans", which are formal plans for any lifting operation that include details such as the load's weight and area covered.

Firms were also encouraged to ensure that lifting teams were informed and reminded of the risks involved in lifting operations.