Institution news

60 Seconds with...Richard Giles-Carlsson, Hawkins

Institution News Team

Richard Giles-Carlssson
Richard Giles-Carlssson

Presenting at Crane Safety 2022 for the first time this year, Richard will share some of the lessons learned from his investigations of lifting failures and what can be avoided at the planning stage

Please could you briefly explain your role, involvement and experience with regards to Crane Safety

Richard Giles-Carlsson (RG-C): I am a forensic civil engineer, which involves (in part) reviewing the root cause of incidents, including incidents related to lifting operations. In my previous role I worked for a Principal Contractor, and I was a deputy Appointed Person for lifting operations. Part of my duties involved drafting and reviewing lifting plans for a number of different types of lifting operations, and in some instances, supervising lifting operations.

What are the main challenges facing the industry at the moment?

RG-C: Companies are always under pressure from clients to push the boundaries in terms of time, costs and the complexity of the task. Unfortunately some people make sacrifices to safe working practices to meet their client’s needs, and ensuring that is not the case is paramount.

What are your top tips when tackling a new lifting challenge?

RG-C: New lifting challenges are often planned a long time in advance of the operation. Make sure the lifting plan remains valid leading up to, and on the day of, the lifting operation. If the site or conditions change, make sure the lifting plan is updated in good time and ahead of the operation, to reflect the change(s).

What are your top tips for everyday lifts?

RG-C: Try to ensure that complacency does not set in. Regular briefings and operative engagement can help with maintaining focus.

What developments in the crane industry either technology or techniques, are you most interested in for the future and why?

RG-C: More sophisticated crane communication should lead to less crane collisions. The development and use of artificial intelligence could improve efficiency and remove the need for operators to be in hazardous locations.

Why is it important for engineers to join this year’s Crane Safety seminar?

RG-C: There are a number of interesting topics being covered at this year’s seminar, and it is always useful to hear up to date advice and accounts from people in the industry. In particular, some of these include reflecting on lessons learnt, which is key for ongoing improvement.

Crane Safety 2022 will take place on 13 September in London

Join us at the Institution's London Headquarters in September to address the key challenges involved carrying out with safe crane operations. Presentations will cover recent lifting projects across a wide variety of projects and industries, together with technical insights and industry best practice to reduce the risk of incidents, maintain compliance with standards and make the most of new and novel technologies: full details and registration at


Read more related articles

Professional Engineering magazine

Professional Engineering app

  • Industry features and content
  • Engineering and Institution news
  • News and features exclusive to app users

Download our Professional Engineering app

Professional Engineering newsletter

A weekly round-up of the most popular and topical stories featured on our website, so you won't miss anything

Subscribe to Professional Engineering newsletter

Opt into your industry sector newsletter

Related articles