Taskforce calls for immediate action after spate of crane-related accidents

The Singapore Cranes Association (SCA), will look into strengthening the training programmes for crane operators.
The Singapore Cranes Association (SCA), will look into strengthening the training programmes for crane operators.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The National Crane Safety Taskforce has urged the construction industry to take immediate action to prevent more crane-related accidents, with at least nine already recorded here so far this year.

Safety measures such as ensuring that cranes are operated according to their manufacturers' specifications and adhere to legal requirements must be put in place immediately, the Taskforce said on Wednesday (April 13).

Companies should conduct regular refresher and familiarisation training courses for crane operators. Workers must also ensure that the cranes are checked and that the surrounding environment is safe before using them.

Taskforce chairman Mohamed Abdul Akbar noted that some of the accidents "were due to inadequate extension of outriggers, insufficient training of crane operators and disregard for crane manufacturer's requirements and poor maintenance", and could have resulted in deaths.

"We strongly urge the industry to review all lifting operations to make sure that they are conducted in a safe manner," he added.

The Singapore Cranes Association (SCA) will look into strengthening the training programmes for crane operators, especially lorry crane operators and lifting supervisors.

Its president Jimmy Chua encouraged the industry to consult iReCORD, a database developed by the association in which employers can access crane operators' training and safety track records, and hire operators based on their experience and capabilities.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Contractors Association Limited and SCA will provide information on new technology that can help to reduce risks, such as data loggers on mobile cranes that allow workers to monitor lifting operations on a regularly basis.

The Workplace Safety and Health Council has a range of resources on safe lifting operations such as Code of Practices, guidelines, case studies, handbooks and checklists to help the industry conduct lifting operations safely. These can be found at www.wshc.sg/resources.