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Do You Need Council Approval for Mobile Crane Hire on Your Construction Project?

February 2024

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When it comes to construction projects, mobile cranes are indispensable for lifting and transporting heavy materials. However, their operation involves more than just technical know-how; it also requires navigating a maze of legal requirements. One crucial aspect that often raises questions is whether council approval is needed for mobile crane hire.

So, before you hoist that first beam or concrete slab, let's investigate the legal landscape of mobile crane hire on construction sites.

What is Council Approval?

Council approval is formal permission granted by local government authorities for certain activities or developments, including the use of mobile cranes on construction sites. This approval is required to ensure that the proposed activity complies with local regulations and standards, such as safety, environmental impact, and community well-being.

What If I Don’t Receive Approval?

Operating a mobile crane without council approval can result in significant penalties and legal implications. Depending on the severity of the violation, consequences may include fines, stop-work orders, and legal action. Non-compliance can also lead to liability issues in the event of accidents or property damage. 

When is Council Approval Necessary?

Council approval is generally required for mobile crane operations for specific situations. These include when the crane will be hoisting material over public roads, footpaths, or cycleways. Additionally, if the crane's operation will extend into the airspace of neighbouring properties, approval from the respective property owners is necessary. Understanding these criteria is crucial for planning and executing construction projects that involve mobile crane use.

The operation of mobile cranes can significantly impact public spaces. It can lead to temporary obstructions of roads, sidewalks, and other public areas, affecting traffic flow and pedestrian access. The safety of the public is also a primary concern, as crane operations involve lifting heavy materials that could pose risks if not managed properly. So, obtaining council approval makes sure that necessary safety measures are in place to minimise disruptions and hazards. 

The Local Government Act 1993 requires council approval for activities like hoisting goods over public roads, ensuring safety and public welfare. The Roads Act 1993 complements this by requiring consent for works in public spaces, including crane operations. Compliance with both acts is crucial for obtaining necessary permits and conducting safe crane operations.

 Tips for a Smooth Approval Process

  • Early Engagement: Initiate contact with the local council at the earliest stages of planning to understand the requirements and processes.

  • Clear Communication: Provide clear and concise information about your project and the intended use of the mobile crane.

  • Documentation: Prepare and submit all required documentation, including site plans, safety assessments, and crane specifications.

  • Follow Guidelines: Adhere to the council's guidelines and recommendations to expedite the approval process. 

Steps to Secure a Crane Permit

1. To obtain a crane permit, start by identifying the specific requirements of your local council. Typically, you'll need to submit an application form that includes details about the crane operation, such as the location, duration, and nature of the work. You may also need to provide a traffic management plan, proof of public liability insurance, and a detailed safety plan.

2. The application should include the site details, crane specifications, and a description of the hoisting job. Additionally, you'll need to provide contact information for the applicant and any relevant contractors. Ensure that all information is accurate and complete to avoid delays in the permit process.

3. Permit fees can vary depending on the location of the operation, the type of road or public space affected, and the duration of the crane use. Some councils may also charge additional fees for processing the application or for any required inspections.

How To Maintain Compliance

  • Licensed Operator: Having a licensed operator is crucial for safe crane operation. Ensure that the operator has the appropriate qualifications and experience to handle the specific type of crane being used.

  • Pre-operational Safety Protocols: Before starting any crane operation, conduct a thorough safety check of the crane and the site. This includes inspecting the crane's condition, verifying that all safety devices are functional, and ensuring that the area is clear of obstacles.

  • Emergency Preparedness: Develop an emergency plan that outlines the procedures to follow in case of an accident or equipment failure. This should include emergency contact numbers, evacuation routes, and first aid measures.

  •  Documentation and Compliance Requirements: Keep all necessary documentation on hand, including the crane permit, operator's license, insurance certificates, and safety plans. Ensure that all operations comply with local regulations and industry standards.

  • Conducting Thorough Risk Assessments: Regularly conduct risk assessments to identify potential hazards associated with the crane operation. Implement appropriate control measures to mitigate these risks and ensure the safety of all personnel and the public.

Trust Scope Cranes for Compliant and Efficient Crane Hire Services

If you're looking for a reliable partner to assist you with your crane hire needs, look no further than Scope Cranes. Our team of experts is well-versed in the legal and operational aspects of crane hire, and we're committed to providing top-notch service that meets all regulatory standards. With Scope Cranes, you can rest assured that your project is in good hands, leaving you free to focus on bringing your construction vision to life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your project with our comprehensive crane hire services.

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