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New Crane Safety Guidance

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The CPAs Crane Interest Group is pleased to announce the release of their latest Good Practice Guide – Requirements for Mobile Cranes Alongside Railways Controlled by Network Rail. As the title indicates, this publication was produced  in close  co-operation with  Network Rail and is based on the same principles as the previously published guidance on  tower cranes alongside railways.


The guidance is clear in that mobile cranes and other mobile lifting equipment may present a large risk to railway operations during activities such as rigging, use, maintenance and de-rigging and both Network Rail and crane users have a duty to ensure the safety of the railway.


If the crane or its load falls onto the track, this could lead to a catastrophic accident meaning it is essential that best practice is followed to eliminate or reduce this risk to as low as reasonably practicable. In doing so, the crane user will be able to demonstrate to Network Rail and other regulators that adequate measures have been put in place.


The requirements specified in the publication should be adhered to when mobile cranes are rigged and used alongside Network Rail assets. Early consultation with Network Rail will ensure that any issues are identified and addressed well before any lifting operation starts, thereby avoiding delays to the project.


The guidance includes topics such as a hierarchy of risk elimination and reduction,; detailed requirements for crane configuration and setting up; and lift planning – all with the emphasis on the additional risks of operating in close proximity to the railway. The guidance also includes sample documents such as a foundation pre-rigging inspection report form.


The guidance is aimed at temporarily installed non-rail mounted lifting equipment such as wheeled mobile cranes, lorry loader cranes, crawler mobile cranes, mini/compact cranes, chassis mounted mobile self-erecting tower cranes as well as telehandlers and excavators used for lifting suspended loads.


For the purposes of the document, the term mobile crane encompasses all these types of lifting equipment. The guidance however does not cover top slewing and self-erecting tower cranes, gantry cranes, piling rigs or rail mounted cranes, nor road/rail units where they are on rail.


The guidance is free to download from



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