WorkSafe looks at safety issues in tower cranes on construction sites

This announcement is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

WorkSafe is conducting a proactive inspection program to look at safety issues relating to tower cranes in service at WA construction sites.

The program will continue until the end of the 2019/20 financial year, and will include tower cranes on construction sites in both metropolitan and regional areas of the State.

WorkSafe Director Sally North said today an inspection program was being undertaken in this area to ensure that tower cranes were being operated safely.

“As these large items of machinery age, it’s crucial that they undergo a major inspection to assess their continued safe operation,” Ms North said.

“WorkSafe registers these tower cranes, so we have a database of the cranes that have been registered and can ascertain how long each one has been in service.

“We’ll use this database to identify the potentially high risk tower cranes that are ten years of age or older, and it is these that inspectors will be examining closely.

“If these tower cranes are not correctly maintained and serviced, there can be a malfunction that can potentially result in an extremely serious incident.

“This proactive inspection program will be focusing on whether employers are having tower cranes inspected according to the manufacturer’s instructions or the relevant Australian Standard, and that they are being properly maintained.”

During this inspection program inspectors will be using a checklist to ensure consistency, looking at areas including:

  • Item of plant registration – that the crane is registered and the registration number is marked on it, and that evidence of registration is displayed.
  • Design – that the design of the crane is registered and evidence is available.
  • Maintenance and inspection – that designer’s or manufacturer’s instructions are available and that the crane is being maintained and inspected in accordance with the written instructions.
  • Other – that the load chart is written in English and is legible, that operator controls are labelled, that communications are in place between the operator and the ground and that the operator holds the relevant qualifications.

“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,” Ms North said.

“This proactive inspection program is just one in an extensive schedule of programs focusing on particular industries or activities and aimed at providing employers and employees with information on how to make workplaces safer.

“WorkSafe aims to help employers comply with workplace safety and health laws, and we firmly believe that raising awareness is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.

“The primary focus of proactive inspection programs is to deliver information to employers, but enforcement action will be taken during programs if breaches of the laws are found.”

Further information on workplace safety and health can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at

Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney, 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)

Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

Media release
31 Oct 2019

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