17/05/2013

European cooperation in crane safety

Tim Tregenza

Across the European Union, there is a huge amount of expertise in occupational safety and health, and sharing this knowledge is a cost-effective approach towards better worker protection in Europe. 

On Wednesday, 8th May 2013, the Malta Occupational Health and Safety Authority in collaboration with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work organized a half-day seminar on Crane Erection and Examination at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Floriana.  This seminar mainly targeted owners, erectors and examiners of cranes.  Ing. Joachim Schulz, member of DGUV Expert Committee Construction Industry of Germany was the main speaker in this seminar.

Ing. Vincent Attard, Senior Manager at OHSA opened the seminar with a short welcome speech followed by a presentation by Mr Kevin Gauci, Principal Officer at OHSA on the local legislation and enforcement on the operation of cranes.

Ing Joachim Schulz delivered two presentations, one on the safe erection of tower-cranes and another one on the examination of cranes on sites. 

In his closing speech, the Hon Minister for Health, Dr Godfrey Farrugia emphasized that examination of cranes is very important because it has a direct effect on the safe operation of such work equipment, which has the potential to cause serious accidents.  He further stated that at EU level there are discussions going on, on the issue of establishing a minimum standard of competence of persons who carry out examinations on cranes.  In fact, OHSA-Malta is all the time seeking to collaborate with the stakeholders to minimise the risks of accidents involving cranes.