ESTA’s health and safety commission kicks into gear

ESTA is pressing ahead with a new long-term campaign to lobby for the raising and harmonisation of European health and safety standards in the heavy transport and lifting sectors.

Plans for a special health and safety commission to drive this agenda were first announced earlier this year and work is now underway to expand the membership, collect evidence and agree the timelines and aims.

Speaking at ESTA’s autumn meeting in Rome, Iffet Türken said: “Safety training and standards are not at an equivalent level in all EU Countries and this unsatisfactory situation means that training qualifications in one EU member are often not recognised in other EU states.

She added: “While the design and construction of mobile cranes in the EU is regulated under the EN13000 norm, the regulations covering the use and operation of mobile cranes vary from country to country.

“This fragmentation raises the industry’s costs unnecessarily, causes delays, creates uncertainty and, most importantly, makes the industry less safe”

Türken, ESTA’s newly-elected Section Transport President, continued: “One of ESTA’s key goals is to try and harmonize the national rules and regulations in Europe governing both abnormal transport and mobile cranes in the interest of safety and efficiency – and we are keen to hear from any member or supporter who would like to become involved in this important work.”

ESTA’s commission will look at how health and safety procedures and legislation in the heavy transport and lifting sector across Europe can be coordinated to raise standards while reducing ambiguity and inefficiencies.

Fabio Belli, ESTA President and CEO of Italian heavy transport and lifting specialist Fagioli, said that the group will promote a culture of risk prevention and pan-European coordination as well as the harmonisation of health and safety regulations.

“The commission will be promoting discussions between ESTA and the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work in order to make the European lifting and heavy transport industry safer, healthier and more productive. This will benefit everyone – employees, businesses and governments.”

Apart from Iffet Türken, who is an Executive Board Member of semi-trailer producer Kässbohrer, the other members of the commission to date are Gerard Bastiaansen, Managing Director of Wagenborg Nedlift; Blanca Claeyssens, Managing Director of ASA France; and Moreno Massetti, Fagioli Heavy Transport Division Director.