The key risk in any job is whether there is an element of serious harm of death to persons and if there is, then the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016 need to be followed.
Under the Regulations, a PCBU has a duty to identify hazards that could give rise to reasonably foreseeable risks to health and safety.
If a PCBU cannot eliminate risks to health and safety in accordance with section 30(1)(a) of the HSWA, then Regulation 6, the Hierarchy of Control Measures, must apply.
This means that one or more of the following actions that is most appropriate and effective taking into account the nature of the risk must be taken:
- Substituting (wholly or partly) the hazard giving rise to the risk with something that gives rise to a lesser risk;
- isolating the hazard giving rise to the risk to prevent any person coming into contact with it; or
- implementing engineering controls.
- path of the crane components,
- path of the load
- area beneath the suspended load".
A crane operating over an occupied building that is a workplace must consider the above as well as abide by the HSWA Regulations.
Does a crane operating over an occupied building give rise to reasonably foreseeable risk to health and safety?
I would argue that it does based on the following potential scenarios:
- Load separates from rigging,
- Crane boom drops uncontrolled, or
- Crane collapses on building.
The questions then are:
- Can you substitute the risk? Answer would probably be no.
- Can you isolate the risk? Answer would be yes. Empty the building or sections of the building to isolate the risk, or work when there is no-one around (after hours).
- Can you implement engineering controls ? Answer would probably be no as there would still be a risk if people are occupying the building under the load.
If you have any comments on this It would be great to get some feedback