Lifting Gear - Inspection, test, repair
Lifting gear undergoes continual stresses when in use, as a result of lifting of weighty loads. If any part of the lifting apparatus fails, then grave accidents may well happen. By inspecting all e...
Lifting gear undergoes continual stresses when in use, as a result of lifting of weighty loads. If any part of the lifting apparatus fails, then grave accidents may well happen. By inspecting all equipment ahead of each use, hazards should be kept to a minimum, however it is essential to have every kind of lifting equipment professionally inspected and possibly load tested at frequent intervals, to further reduce any risks of gear breakdown. This will also provide you with required paperwork/certification for your records, should health and safety come calling.
When using any type of lifting gear, you will find a set of lawfully bound rules in place that should be adopted at all times. L.O.L.E.R. (the lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations) instigated these regulations to help to reduce the risk involved when lifting weighty objects.
The lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations are specifically designed for all varieties of lifting gear and applications, but there are an extra set of rules that also need to be followed; these are stated by The Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations (P.U.W.E.R.) and refer to all kinds of equipment used in the place of work. Very briefly these regulations say that the employer is accountable for undertaking risk assessments, ensuring that equipment is installed and maintained correctly, and also to make sure that they continue to be in good, safe working condition, (i.e. by means of servicing and inspections).
The remainder of this post will refer to the L.O.L.E.R. regulations. There are three core areas which are referred to; they are: 1; the primary lifting equipment like a gantry or hoist. 2: the lifting accessories like clamps, eye bolts, shackles and slings, and finally 3; the lifting operation itself. Each of these 3 areas is divided into 3 more sub divisions which are vital, and stipulate: 1; you need to ensure the lifting gear is safe to operate. 2; Make sure the gear is utilised in a safe and suitable way. 3; ensure that it stays safe to use, (via testing and inspection).
For the explanations stated in the above criteria, it is vital to have all types of lifting equipment inspected by qualified, specialized people at regular intervals. Lifting accessories such as chain slings, shackles, hooks, rope and web slings should be inspected on a half yearly basis. The primary lifting gear such as Jib cranes, mobile gantry cranes and hoisting devices require yearly inspections, though any equipment that is used to lift people must be inspected 6 monthly. The makers of lifting gear must work to reduce possible hazards related to the equipment, typically by displaying the CE mark and providing the EU declarations of conformity, which must be kept on file with testing and inspection certification.
Any corporation which makes use of lifting gear of any variety are duty-bound by the L.O.L.E.R. regulations that are enforced by health and safety officers. If these regulations are not met you are given a specific time frame to rectify the problem, if serious though, much firmer action might be taken.
Next are some crucial details to help you abide by the regulations.
One of the most important things to evaluate is whether or not your equipment is properly set up. By using a highly regarded lifting gear company you can guarantee this is done correctly, so therefore safe to use straight away. Incorrect installations can have grave consequences.
The people using the lifting gear must be competent in using the gear safely; appropriate training is a good way to ensure this.
Label and mark all lifting gear for swift and simple identification of suitability for use. As a minimum, this will include safe working load limits and also the date of the last inspection. Wherever lifting gear is going to be used for lifting people, this must be labelled appropriately with all applicable safeguards having been taken to eliminate or minimise any danger to your workers.
The lifting gear selected for each task should be adequately strong, secure and fitting for the intended operation. In addition, the load and anything attached to it, for instance; timber pallets, lifting points, etc, should all be relevant.
A competent inspector should set the inspection and maintenance schedule in accordance to the type of equipment and be trained to perform and validate the examination. Inspection and new test certification should always be supplied.
Planned preventative maintenance is a cost effective measure, by ensuring safety of equipment, minimising risks to personnel, and elongating the operational life of your gear. Regular service contracts are often available from lifting equipment specialists, who will call you at the appropriate intervals to book in an inspection. Qualified engineers will then carry out the relevant procedures and issue new documentation for your records providing they are deemed safe to use. Any problems noted can be speedily dealt with, causing little down time.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Nikki Dale works for the Lifting Gear Direct group which incorporates Lifting Hoists Direct and Wire Rope Direct. We have been supplying many types of lifting equipment to trade and industry for many years and our qualified team carry out Inspections on all lifting equipment.