The mandatory equipping will take place in two phases – from Aug 1, 2015 onward for new mobile cranes, while existing ones will have up till Aug 1, 2018 to be retrofitted with data loggers.
After a string of crane-related incidents this year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced that all new and existing registered mobile cranes used in workplaces are to be equipped with data loggers.
In a media release on Tuesday (Apr 14), MOM said mandatory equipping will take place in two phases. It will set in from Aug 1 for new mobile cranes, while existing ones will have up till Aug 1, 2018 to be retrofitted with data loggers.
A data logger will record data on the crane’s operations, including the weight of the load lifted, the lifting radius and whether safety devices of the crane have been activated or bypassed.
“To support this requirement, the Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) will launch a new co-funding scheme to defray the cost of retrofitting existing mobile cranes with data loggers,” MOM said. Crane owners can apply for a funding of up to 50 per cent of the cost, capped at a maximum of S$5,000 per crane.
MOM said that there were a total of seven crane-related incidents between Jan 19 and Mar 9 this year, and even though there were no serious injuries, these incidents highlighted the “potential catastrophic impact” crane incidents could have on the safety of workers and the public.
In February, a large crane toppled at a condominium construction site in Potong Pasir and crashed into the driveway of a semi-detached house. A month later, a mobile crane tipped over at a construction site along Sunview Drive in Jurong. No one was injured in both incidents.
In response to the incidents, the ministry launched an enforcement operation targeting unsafe crane and lifting operations between Mar 16 and Apr 2 “to deter irresponsible companies who continue to disregard safe lifting practices and to determine the extent of crane safety at worksites”.
“MOM’s inspections uncovered 147 crane-related Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act contraventions. 236 fines and Notices of Non-Compliance (NNC) were issued to 55 errant companies,” the release added. “Two worksites were also ordered to stop all work for more than ten days to rectify safety lapses.”
Some common contraventions included damaged, corroded and kinked wire ropes on cranes, failure to implement a proper lifting plan and permit-to-work system.
Mr Chan Yew Kwong, Director of MOM’s Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate said, “These should have been addressed through daily checks on the functionality of the worksite’s cranes and their safety devices, and the effective implementation of lifting plans.”
He added that MOM will not hesitate to take action against errant occupiers who fail to ensure that their cranes and lifting operations do not endanger workers and the public.