The Department of Transport is facing calls to review mobile crane safety regulations and introduce MoT testing in the face of several road incidents.
The latest was on Sunday night when a mobile crane caught fire on the M62.
Currently, mobile cranes are exempt from requiring an annual MoT. Following a three-year long consultation the Department of Transport has recently announced that it will introduce regulations which will require mobile cranes which are on an HGV chassis to undergo MoTs.
But unions are warning that most mobile cranes are of the all-terrain variety and they will continue to be exempt from MoT testing as many of them are too large to fit into a testing centre.
Construction union Unite is calling for compulsory testing and tachograph systems to be introduced in order to improve safety and to reassure both drivers and other road users the vehicles are roadworthy
National officer for construction Bernard McAulay, said: “Members of the public will be concerned that there are no rules ensuring that these large machines are roadworthy. Mobile crane drivers need to know that they are in a safe vehicle.
“It is also totally wrong that drivers are currently allowed to drive these cranes for hours on end without any requirements to have a break, this is dangerous for both the driver and other road users.
“The government must stop hiding behind cost concerns and hoping the industry will introduce voluntary regulation.
“The only way to improve standards and safety is through statutory testing and clear rules on driving time.
“Chris Grayling must re-think the government’s response. Too often we have seen how penny pinching on safety matters has terrible consequences and we should ensure that this is not the case with regards to mobile cranes including the all-terrain variety.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
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