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Tower Crane First Aid Box design… window for compliance is setting.

The code of practice for tower crane use commenced in Queensland, following an industry review which recommended several changes, including for independent third party inspections of tower cranes to be undertaken at the commissioning stage.

Operating tower cranes is a high-risk work activity. A total of 177 tower crane incidents were notified to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland from 2009 to 2016, with a substantial rise in 2015 and 2016. These included collision of plant, competency of licensed operators, falling objects, and contact with overhead electric lines. Tower crane injuries in construction are commonly caused by being struck by falling or moving objects from the crane, access or egress of tower cranes, and handling objects while erecting or dismantling.

An industry steering committee, which included employer, worker and government representatives, developed the new Tower Crane Code of Practice 2017.

Changes include amending the design requirements for first aid boxes, with boxes required to be fully enclosed by mesh, and recommending that first aid boxes not be used when wind speeds exceed 54km/h.

The 2017 code clarifies the safe operation of tower cranes near overhead powerlines, and provides clearer guidance on the use of signs on tower crane booms and the responsibilities of the crane crew.

The new code commenced on 1 July, but the amendments to the design of first aid boxes won’t come in to play until 1 January 2018, allowing time for industry to comply.

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