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Joint Committee on the Secondary Legislation of the European Communities debate -
Wednesday, 27 Jun 1979

Tower Cranes.

This draft report is concerned with a proposed Directive which would establish a system under which inspections would be carried out by national authorities and EEC type examination certificates issued for each type of tower crane which complies with the technical requirements specified. The manufacturer or his agent would issue a certificate of conformity for each type of tower crane constructed. It is an optional type of harmonisation so we would not be obliged to prohibit the use of tower cranes which did not comply with it but we would not be able to exclude tower cranes that did.

At paragraph 5 we point to the implications for Ireland. We note that there are regulations, the Construction (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations, 1975, made under the Factories Act, 1955, and these contain the existing provisions relating to cranes and we are advised that none of the conditions there prescribed would conflict with the proposed EEC specifications.

We are also informed that there is one company here in Ireland which is interested in the manufacture of tower cranes although they are not actually in production at the moment. Again we understand that this company has not indicated that they would have any difficulty with regard to the specifications in the draft Directive.

In paragraph 7 we say that we have no objection in principle to the draft Directive but we did receive a memorandum from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions which suggested that the detailed provisions of a technical nature are not adequate. What we have done in this draft report is to table the submissions made by Congress because they are basically related to safety at work. We suggest that these detailed provisions should be looked into before the Commission proposals are finished. So we are basically in favour of it but we want to have greater tightening of the technical safety provisions on the lines of the submissions provided by Congress.

In view of the restriction on time can I take it that the report is adopted?

Have the suggestions made by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions been referred to the tower manufacturing company here for their comments?

It is not the practice of the Committee to refer the submission's it receives to anyone.

In effect. without any detailed examination of the suggestions made by Congress, we are incorporating them in the report as if they have our blessing. I do not know whether it is a good or a bad idea but I would like to see them examined.

If the Deputy would look at page 3 he will see that we say that the Committee accordingly recommends that the technical provisions in the proposed Council Directive should be especially examined in the light of the comments of the Congress to see what changes can be made to meet the points made. We do not necessarily commit ourselves. We are saying that these are points which have been raised with us and we table them in our report so that they can be examined.

We imply that these should be examined.

I would like to point out that there are other views which should be sought apart from the views of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. There are various interests which should be consulted.

Perhaps if the Deputy would read the report he would see that we did both consult with, and obtain submissions from, other bodies

I did not read the report which has just come to hand now.

Well, it was circulated.

Therefore, I would not like to see any hasty decisions arrived at. All those points should be given full and frank discussion.

Well, it was circulated to members and it does say that we consulted the Construction Industry Federation, the Confederation of Irish Industry and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Basically there is no opposition to the safety proposals and we got technical recommendations from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. We are not equipped to assess in detail the problems that might arise and we say that this matter should be examined. That is all.

There is nothing very controversial in it.

Paragraphs 1 to 8, inclusive, agreed to.

Draft Report agreed to.

Ordered : To report accordingly.