Safety in the construction industry is something that has been hotly debated in the region for many years. With cranes dominating the skyline, almost as much as the high-rise towers alongside them, it has been an on-going challenge to ensure that these potentially dangerous pieces of equipment are operated and maintained safely.
PMV Live, the region’s leading event for construction plant, machinery and vehicles, will be looking to highlight the need for more stringent, locally regulated guidelines for tower crane safety by bringing in a number of industry experts to debate the topic.
The framework for the debate will be a new report on the subject published by the Committee for European Construction (CECE).
The panel session will host Dr. Peter Schiefer, CEO of Wolffkran and current Chairman of the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) Tower Cranes Section; Andrew Henry, operations manager – UAE, Al Habtoor Leighton; Thibault Le Besnerais, global product director, Manitowoc’s Potain tower crane line; and Richie Colley, Middle East regional lifting operations manager, Velosi . The session will be moderated by Stephen White, editor of Construction Machinery Middle East magazine.
Ahead of the debate, Andrew Henry commented on the improvements in safety he has seen over the past few years in the UAE. He said, “There has been a dramatic shift since 2008, when there was a frenetic pace to construction to just get things built; there wasn’t so much of a structured approach to the involvement of consultants. Now, the influence of consultants is greater and they tend to require compliance to a set of international standards in regard to tower cranes.”
The UAE, in particular, has seen such vast development in its 40 year history, and although the moves made to ensure safe working environments have been impressive in such a short space of time, there is still work to be done. A number of locally based companies, regardless of geographical heritage, have themselves adopted standards on par with Europe and the UK.
Velosi’s Richie Colley, added, “I think that the governing bodies are regulating the safety in tower cranes and other areas much better now in the Middle East and especially the UAE. They have put some great systems in place for the inspections of these items, but what I feel is lacking is more stringent rules on operators training.”
It is such requirements that have led to this debate being developed for inclusion in the PMV Live programme, Nathan Waugh, event manager says. The session was borne out of a need and a desire from the region’s construction sector, whether it be developers, crane operators, manufacturers or suppliers, to increase levels of education regarding the safe operation and maintenance of cranes.
The debate is intended to help raise awareness of existing safety regulations and standards, assess the ways in which such standards can be applied in the region and the best way to move forward.
The Tower Crane Safety panel session is free of charge for PMV Live visitors to attend, and questions will be taken from the audience. The session will be held on 7 November within the PMV Live event, at Dubai World Trade Centre.