False safety stickers currently appearing on cranes in several states around Australia are putting operators as well as other workers on construction sites and the general public at risk, a key industry body has warned.

In a public warning sent out last week, the Crane Industry Council of Australia says counterfeit ‘green stickers’ certifying the machines in question had undergone suitable safety checks and had been certified by the Council as ‘CraneSafe’ had been reported on a number of sites around the country.

“In the last two weeks CICA has been advised of three cases of counterfeit CraneSafe ‘Green Stickers’, spotted in Western Australia and Queensland,” CICA chief executive officer Alan Marshall said. “CICA’s preliminary investigations indicate that these counterfeit cases appear unrelated.”

Operated by CICA since 2002, the CraneSafe program is a voluntary one in which cranes are annually assessed by third party inspectors to ensure they are in adequate condition and meet requirements for occupational health and safety.

Around 7,000 checks happen under the program each year.

Marshall urged crane owners and operators as well as safety officers to examine stickers and supporting approval documentation and to report any potential fakes to CICA.

He said the Council can readily identify counterfeits, which are often flawed or of poor quality, will contain irregularities in key data or documentation, will not be on the CraneSafe database or will not have been issued on a CraneSafe approved sticker.

In addition to examining technology related solutions such as ‘tamper proof’ stickers, Marshall said CICA has sought legal advice and would pursue misuse of the CraneSafe name and logo through the courts.

He noted that any misuse of the stickers is serious.

“CICA takes the strong view that any unlawful breach and misrepresentation in the industry that threatens safety and the reputation of CICA members and CraneSafe users is unacceptable,” he said. “If you come across a counterfeit CraneSafe ‘Green Sticker’ it will be wise to assume that the crane is unsafe and not compliant with Work Health and Safety Regulations including plant requirements.”