Lifting Gear - Inspection, test, repair

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Published: 08th April 2015
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Inspection of your lifting gear is a legal requirement and is looked at briefly inside this article.

All kinds of lifting gear which is used on a regular basis, needs to be inspected by a qualified individual at frequent intervals, this is due to the nature of the work that lifting gear endures. You must also check over all components prior to each procedure to spot possible problems early on. Through adopting these simple procedures, the chance of something going wrong is much reduced.

On a legal note, the rules set out by The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (L.O.L.E.R.) were to become law in 1998, thus should be upheld by anybody utilizing any kind of lifting gear.

The lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations are specifically intended for all varieties of lifting equipment and applications, but there are a further set of rules which 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 types of equipment used in the workplace. Very briefly these regulations say that the employer is responsible for undertaking risk assesments, ensuring that equipment is installed and maintained correctly, and also to ensure that they continue to be in good, safe working order, (i.e. through servicing and inspections).

The remainder of this article will refer to the L.O.L.E.R. regulations. There are three core areas which are refered to; these are: 1; the main lifting equipment like a gantry or hoist. 2: the lifting accessories like clamps, eyebolts, shackles and slings, and finally 3; The lifting operation itself. Each of these 3 areas are divided into three more sub divisions that are essential, and say: 1; You are required to make sure the lifting equipment is safe to use. 2; Be sure the equipment is used in a safe and suitable way. 3; be certain that it stays safe to use, (by means of testing and inspection).

The above statements are actually fairly straightforward to follow with little fuss, lifting equipment needs to be inspected within 12 monthly intervals and accessories within 6 monthly intervals (6 monthly should also incorporate all equipment used to lift persons). A reputable lifting equipment company who offer inspections by trained employees, can usually provide a complete service, where they'll get in touch with you and book you in at the required intervals, leaving you with less to stress about. Records of all inspections, testing and servicing should be kept, along with all manufacturers declarations of conformity. Additionally it is the producers duty to show the CE mark, to show they really are doing everything they can to reduce any associated hazardous risks.

L.O.L.E.R. regulations are enforced by Health & Safety inspectors. A business utilizing a range of lifting equipment , with duties held under the LOLER regulations will be issued with a reasonable timeframe within which to integrate the new requirements into the place of work. Though, where serious hazards are determined, or else the requirements are not new, inspectors will be in a position to take positive enforcement action where necessary.

To help realize these objectives listed below are some well regarded advice.

To begin with, ensure that your lifting equipment is installed properly and safely, by means of a trained installer. This would guarantee from day one that the positioning of your lifting gear is accurate and safe to use.

Instruct your employees to proficiently operate the lifting gear in a safe manner, under the supervision of a qualified operator.

All lifting equipment should be labelled clearly with the maximum safe working load limits, if it is not then don't put it to use until verified. The date of the most recent professional inspection must also be clear. Easy identification is essential. If the gear is used for lifting individuals, all labeling must be obvious and appropriate with all documentation for precautions taken to reduce all risks easily to hand.

Every lifting process is unique, so therefore it is vital to assess each one, and ensure all lifting gear and accessories used are suitable and will be safely up to the task in hand.

Inspections of all lifting gear are vital, and should be carried out by a qualified person at their recommended 6 or 12 monthly intervals, depending on the equipment. New documentation will be supplied if the gear is deemed safe to use, this must be retained on file.

Without these inspections lifting equipment may not just fail to operate correctly, but they also can cause critical safety concerns for those using them and those around them when they are being used. Inspections ought to be used as Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) and a of good standing lifting equipment company should be able to schedule your inspections on a regular, yearly basis, or earlier if necessary. Through setting up an inspection and maintenance agreement with a recommended business who offer an inspection service, they will do all the hard work and get in touch with you a few weeks before your inspection due date to book you in, they will then get their trained engineers to carry out the required inspection and servicing procedures pertinent to your gear, any problems that are determined, can usually be rectified quickly, if not, a replacement product may be purchased directly

The content of this post presents a brief look at inspection protocols and relevant sources should be referred to for additional details.

Nikki Dale works for the Lifting Gear Direct group which incorporates Lifting Equipment ltd and
We have been supplying many types of lifting equipment to trade and industry for many years and our qualified team carry out inspections to all lifting equipment.

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