Category Archives: Tower Crane

Tower Crane

Safe Use of Tower Cranes – Management of the Lifting Operation

Safe system of work Tower Crane

A safe system of work should be established and documented by the owner. Such system should be followed for every lifting operation whether it is an individual lift or a series of repetitive operations. This safe system of work should be prepared and endorsed by the owner, with the advice of the competent person, safety officer and other relevant personnel. The same principle should be applied whether the lifting operations are carried out at a construction site or the crane is a permanent fixture, e.g. in a factory or at a dock. The safe system of work should be effectively communicated to all parties concerned by the owner.

The safe system of work should include but not limited to the following:

planning of the operation;

selection, provision and use of a suitable crane and equipment;

maintenance, examination and testing of the crane and equipment;

the provision of a log-book for the competent examiner/competent person/mechanic to enter the details of testing, examination, inspection, maintenance/repair works which have been carried out for the crane;
the provision of properly trained and competent personnel who have been made aware of their relevant responsibilities under sections 6A and 6B of the FIUO;
adequate supervision by properly trained and competent personnel;

observing for any unsafe conditions such as adverse weather conditions that may arise during operation;
ensuring that all necessary test and examination certificates and other documents are available;
preventing unauthorized movement or use of a crane at all times;

the safety of other persons who may be affected by the lifting operation; and

the contingency plan providing procedures to be followed in case of emergency situation.

The lifting operation should be taken to include any necessary preparation of a
site, and the siting.

Control of the lifting operation

To ensure the implementation of the safe system of work, a responsible person should be appointed to have overall control of the lifting operation. This appointed person should have adequate training and experience to enable these duties to be carried out competently.

Safe Use of Tower Cranes – Definition

Automatic safe load indicator Tower Crane
It means a device intended to be fitted to a crane that automatically gives an audible and visible warning to the operator thereof that the crane is approaching its safe working load, and that automatically gives a further audible and visible warning when the crane has exceeded its safe working load (Regulation 3(1) of the LALGR).

Certified plan
It includes drawings, details, diagrams, calculations, structural details, structural calculations, geotechnical details and geotechnical calculations which are certified by safety supervision personnel.

Competent examiner
A competent examiner, in relation to the carrying out of any test and examination required by the LALGR, means a person who is –

appointed by the owner required by those regulations to ensure that the test and examination is carried out;
a registered professional engineer registered under the Engineers Registration Ordinance (Cap. 409) within a relevant discipline specified by the Commissioner for Labour; and
by reason of his qualifications, training and experience, competent to carry out the
test and examination (Regulation 3(1) of the LALGR).

As at the date of this Code, Mechanical Engineering and Marine & Naval Architecture are the specified disciplines specified by the Commissioner for Labour.

Competent person
A competent person, in relation to any duty required to be performed by him under the
LALGR, means a person who is -appointed by the owner required by those regulations to ensure that the duty is carried out by a competent person; and
by reason of training and practical experience, competent to perform the duty
(Regulation 3(1) of the LALGR).

Climbing frames
Frames of a climbing crane, which transfer the loadings from the crane on to the structure
that supports it.

Climbing ladders
Vertical structural frameworks by means of which some types of climbing cranes are raised.

Condition of tipping
A condition when a crane is subject to an overturning moment which cannot be increased by even a small amount without causing the crane to fall over.

Free-standing height
The maximum height at which a tower crane can operate without being held by ties or guys.

The dimension between the inner faces of the rail heads of the rail track of a crane.

Height alteration
It means climbing of a tower crane or the addition or removal of mast section to or from the main tower.

Overlapping zone
An overlapping zone is the space which may be swept by the load, its attachment or any part of the tower crane, and common to at least two tower cranes.

In relation to any crane, includes the lessee or hirer thereof, and any overseer, foreman, agent or person in charge or having the control or management of the crane, and the contractor who has control over the way any construction work which involves the use of the crane is carried out and, in the case of a crane situated on or used in connection with work on a construction site, also includes the contractor responsible for the construction site (Regulation 3(1) of the LALGR). A contractor is responsible for a construction site if he is undertaking construction work there or, where there is more than one contractor undertaking construction work at the site, if he is the principal contractor undertaking construction work there (Regulation 3(2) of the LALGR).

Project engineer
Project engineer means the registered structural engineer (RSE) appointed under section
4 of the Buildings Ordinance (Cap. 123) (hereafter referred to as BO); or for project(s) with exemption granted by the Building Authority from the procedures and requirements relating to the appointment of a RSE under section 4 of the BO, a competent person whose appointment is, subject to prior agreement of the Building Authority, to take up the responsibilities and duties of a registered structural engineer; or the supervising officer of similar capacity in project(s) of the Housing Authority; or the engineer(s) as specified in the works contracts appointed to act on behalf of the client organization for the supervision and management of the works project(s) of the government departments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; or any independent checking engineer(s) of similar capacity appointed by the principal contractor at the request of the government departments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as the case may be.

Rail ties
Ties used to retain rails at the correct distance apart and to withstand the imposed tensile and compressive forces.

Registered professional engineer
Registered professional engineer means a person whose name is on the register of registered professional engineers established and maintained under section 7 of the Engineers Registration Ordinance (Cap 409).

Registered safety officer
Registered safety officer means a person registered under Regulation 7 of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety Officers and Safety Supervisors) Regulations (Cap

Registered structural engineer
Registered structural engineer means a person whose name is for the time being on the structural engineers’ register kept under section 3(3) of the BO.

Safety supervision personnel
For building works and street works, it means the “Technically Competent Person of Grade T5” (TCP T5) who possesses the academic or professional qualifications and experience of building works or street works that satisfy the requirements set out in the Code of Practice for Site Supervision issued by the Buildings Department for a particular type of site supervision or management tasks; or the person responsible for engineering safety supervision as specified in the works project(s) of the government departments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as the case may be. For other industrial undertakings, it means a registered professional engineer in structural discipline.

The means of securing the tower within tie frames or climbing frames of a tower crane.

Working space limiter
A working space limiter is a limiting device to prevent the load, its attachment or any
part of the tower crane from entering an overlapping zone.

Safe Use of Tower Cranes – Foreword

Tower Crane are widely used for lifting operations in the construction industry in Hong Kong. Statistics show that tower cranes contribute to quite a number of serious accidents. Property damage and bodily injuries can be avoided if they are properly used.

This Code of Practice (hereafter referred as this Code) is approved and issued by the Commissioner for Labour under section 7A of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance (Cap. 59) (hereafter referred as the FIUO). It provides practical guidance to the industry as to how to use tower cranes safely and properly with a view to assisting the duty holders in preventing accidents.

The provisions in this Code should not be regarded as exhausting those matters which need to be covered by the relevant safety legislation, nor is it intended to relieve persons undertaking the work of their statutory responsibilities. It is important to note that compliance with this Code does not of itself confer immunity from legal obligations.

This Code has a special legal status. Although failure to observe any guidance contained in this Code is not in itself an offence, that failure may be taken by a court in criminal proceedings as a relevant factor in determining whether or not a person has breached any of the provisions of the regulations to which the guidance relates.

Throughout this Code, we have quoted relevant safety standards of the British Standards Institution. However, if there are other national/international standards or provisions which are equivalent, they would be acceptable as alternatives. In addition, statutory provisions referred to or cited in this Code are those in force as at 1 August 2011.