Tower Crane Interest Group

The Tower Crane Interest Group (TCIG) is a well-established group, formed in April 2003. The group is made up of tower crane owners, tower crane manufacturers, major contractors, training organisations and representatives from HSE.

TCIG have published a large number of Good Practice Guide documents including the Safe Use of Top Slew Tower Crane; Maintenance, Inspection and Thorough Examination of Tower Cranes; Safe Use of Self Erecting Tower Cranes; and the Climbing of Tower Cranes. The group have currently published over 50 Technical Information Notes (TIN’s) which can be downloaded free-of-charge with the majority the TIN’s and all the Best Practice Guides have been badged by the HSE with their logo.

TCIG Group Members have worked with a number of other organisations including Construction Trade Associations, Network Rail, CIRIA (The Construction Industry Research and Information Association, Transport for London etc. to produce guidance and advice for the tower crane sector and those that use and specify tower cranes, including the self-erect types.

TCIG has a steering group and holds an annual open meeting for industry and is currently Chaired by Dave Holder of Wolffkran Ltd.

CAA Airfield Crane Notification System

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the aviation regulator, has introduced a new notification system to help the construction industry in notifying airspace users of cranes above a specified height. Their Airspace Co-ordination Obstacle Management Service (ACOMS) portal will help those planning flights and drone activity to assess any risks and plan appropriately. In essence, notification is required if a crane is:

  • to be used within 6 Km of the aerodrome/airfield and its height exceeds 10 metres Above Ground Level (AGL) or that of surrounding structures or trees, if higher, or;
  • is to be operated at or above a height of 100 metres AGL regardless of location or height of surrounding structures.

The CAA recommends using ACOMS at least eight weeks before the erection of the crane, however, as the CAA recognises that there are times when very little notice is given to the crane user, additional notification timescales have been created as follows:

PLANNED LONG-TERM PROJECTS: Notification to be sent to the CAA at least eight weeks (40 working days) before the erection of the crane. The CAA will then identify parties that may be affected by the crane and inform the crane user and affected parties about the next steps.

AD-HOC PROJECTS: Notification to be sent to the CAA not later than 5 working days in advance. The CAA will then identify parties that may be affected by the crane and inform the crane user and the affected parties about the next steps.

UNFORESEEN AND URGENT PROJECTS: If there is an unforeseen and urgent requirement to erect a crane within 5 working days from the notification, the crane user is required to contact all aerodromes whose perimeters are within 10 Nautical Miles (NM) (18.5 km) of the crane and submit the notification via ACOMS as soon as possible and advise which aerodrome operators have been contacted and the reason for less than 5 working days’ notice.

Where cranes are to be in situ for more than 90 days, before the crane is erected, users must also notify:

  • the CAA by the ACOMS Service, and;
  • the Defence Geographic Centre (DGC)

The lighting requirements are the same as previous CPA communications, being:

  • Above 150 metres - must be illuminated with 2000 candela;
  • Within 6 Km of aerodrome as dictated by aerodrome operator;
  • 45 metres to 150 metres - recommend 2000 candela;
  • Less than 45m - recommend 32 candela.

If the crane is within the vicinity of an aerodrome AND 100m or higher above ground level, users need to notify both the aerodrome and the CAA via ACOMS. If the crane is in the vicinity of an aerodrome AND 100m or higher above ground level AND in situ for more than 90 days, you need to notify the aerodrome, the CAA and the DGC, as described above.

It is the hirer of the crane (principal or other contractor) who is ultimately responsible for notifying relevant aerodromes and the lighting of the crane. Crane suppliers should ensure that hirers are aware of this requirement.

The CAP 1096 publication - Guidance to Crane Users is in the process of being revised and CAA advise that at least three-months notice will be provided prior to the full implementation of CAP 1096. More information on ACOMs and other notification requirements and how to register to submit notifications is at: