Amazingly there is no current law that states a crane operator must use a hands-free kit for radio communication on a crane.
We all know it is against the law to use a mobile phone whilst driving a vehicle, and we’ve all seen countless people driving in the fast lane on a motorway, in deep conversation using their mobile phones!
And yet there is no current law that states a crane operator should use a hands-free kit whilst swinging several tonnes of construction material from a flexible cable.
The HSE can only recommend the use of hand-free radio operating kits with foot switches, to allow the operator to transmit whilst leaving both hands free to operate the controls.
The worry is that a large number of crane operators are still using hand-held portable radios. This means firstly that both hands are not on the controls of the crane, and secondly, neighboring radio users could interrupt the radio signal, hence important commands could be misinterpreted or even not heard at all.
In our experience a vast majority of Health and Safety managers do not seem to be aware that these hands-free crane-operating kits are available to enhance site safety.
We’ve all heard the words ‘Health and safety gone mad’ but it seems that this is one important law in health and safety that has been sadly missed!