Our thoughts are with the two people killed on Wednesday morning in Battersea, one a member of the public in the wrong place, the other the helicopter pilot actively trying to avoid an accident in conditions of low visibility. 12 people are also reported injured.
Reports are saying that there were no clearly visible lights on the crane. It will be some time before there is a full report on this dreadful incident but safety campaigners like ourselves have said that controls of crane safety are not adequate. We cannot trust the construction industry to police itself over safety.
In July London Hazards responded to the Health and Safety Executive consultation about the scrapping of the Crane Safety Register saying:
- We were concerned that the UK was one of the worst countries for having tower crane accidents.
- In the decade before the crane register HSE say there were 60 crane accidents, 9 deaths and 25 serious injuries. Most of them were in London.
- Other countries have stricter crane safety laws including compulsory licensing.
- New York, a city we should compare ourselves with, has a tougher safety regulation system in construction.
Read our briefing: Crane safety in London
The Civil Aviation Authority said a warning about the crane involved in the crash had been issued to pilots in October and again on 7 January.
But it confirmed that red aviation warning lights on tall structures only need to be turned on at night – and not during bad weather in daylight hours – because they are not visible in fog or low cloud.
The rules mean the period defined as night would have ended about 30 minutes before the crash.