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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC


Tower and mobile cranes are used extensively on construction, demolition projects or as one-off 'contract lifts'. When a crane is hired the responsibility for planning, supervising and carrying out lifting operations rests with the user unless these responsibilities are explicitly assumed by the crane hire company. People who hire cranes but do not have the necessary competencies for safe planning and use will need to opt for a 'contract lift' from the crane hire company.

Crane supervisors should be competent and suitably trained and should have sufficient experience to carry out all relevant duties and authority to stop the lifting operation if it is judged dangerous to proceed. Lifting equipment must be thoroughly examined at the prescribed intervals. This entails a detailed and specialised examination by a competent person.

The examination will usually be arranged by the crane hire company, although it is the responsibility of the crane user to ensure that all necessary examinations are carried out and that the required reports are in order.

The crane supervisor should direct and supervise lifting operations to make sure it is carried out in accordance with the method statement that has been produced. Information in a method statement may include:

  • Planning, including site preparation, crane erection and dismantling
  • Selection, provision and use of a suitable crane and work equipment
  • Safe slinging and signalling arrangements
  • Maintenance and examination of the crane and equipment
  • Provision of properly trained and competent personnel
  • Supervision of operations by personnel having the necessary authority
  • Thorough examinations, reports and other documents
  • Preventing unauthorised movement or use of the crane
  • Measures to secure safety of persons not involved in the lifting

Common hazards may include:

  • Collapse of the crane
  • Falling of the load
  • Contacting live overhead power lines
  • On-site vehicles
  • Moving loads

References and further reading