Lifting Gear Direct Explains the Importance of Lifting Equipment Testing, Inspection and Certification

March 23, 2018 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Steve and his team at Lifting Gear Direct have been in the industry for many years and not only advise clients on testing and inspections, but also provide the service themselves. We spoke to Steve in further depth about the importance of this process.

"Before we even get into looking at the various practical reasons for ensuring that you inspect, test and certify all equipment, it's crucial to note that it's actually required by law. So regardless of your own thoughts on the matter, it's something you can't avoid!" warns Steve.

The laws to which Steve refers are the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). These both gain their legal backing from the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

"LOLER and PUWER both lay out specific requirements when it comes to the use and maintenance of lifting equipment, and it is recommended to familiarise yourself with these documents if you operate with them" advised Steve.

LOLER, in conjunction with PUWER, require that all lifting equipment be inspected professionally at least every 12 months. Alongside this, any lifting accessories, such as eyebolts, must be professionally inspected at least every six months.

"However, this rule can change based on a number of factors, such as how often you use your equipment, if it's being operated in hazardous environments, and whether it will be lifting people or not" said Steve.

He continued "you have a duty and an obligation as an organisation to ensure that all lifting operations are kept as safe and secure as possible. Generally, we recommended sticking with the rule of inspecting as often as possible! Although it can add more time, a check before each operation can go a long way in ensuring the safest possible operation."

This is important, because it's not just the law that you must think about when it comes to lifting operations, but the strain it places on workers too. These operations are naturally heavy duty, and the risk to any workers or employees is much greater than other types of operation. 1.3 million people suffered some kind of work related illness in 2017, with 609,000 of these people finding their injury occurring within the workplace itself.

Using the right lifting equipment, planning the operation and thoroughly testing and inspecting regularly are all required by LOLER and PUWER, and can help to reduce these injury statistics.

For those that are unsure of the right approach or how to get started, the team at Lifting Gear Direct have designed this handy infographic labelling all of the most pertinent information: Lifting Equipment Testing, Inspection and Certification.

"It's such an important area that we've crafted this easy-to-read infographic to help users quickly understand the key information. But, this isn't a substitute for having the full knowledge of LOLER and PUWER, and if you are involved in an operation, whether the planning or actual working, you must know these requirements inside and out" said Steve.

He continues "unfortunately, it is all too well documented what can happen when these guidelines aren't taken seriously. Taking the necessary steps to prevent accidents will not only leave you on the right side of the law, but it will also keep your workers safe and healthy too."

In 2017, there were a number of accidents involving lifting equipment, mostly cranes. In a number of cases, this involved in both fatalities and jail time for those that were negligent when it came to the proper planning of operations. One crane collapsed at a plant in Glasgow, which saw one death and the plant manager receiving two years of jail time.

"These stats aren't to scare you, simply to make you aware of what can happen if proper steps and precautions aren't taken. With regular inspections and proper planning, you'll have nothing to worry about!" said Steve.

If you would like further advice when it comes to LOLER, PUWER or the inspecting, testing and certifying of lifting equipment, then you can get in touch with Steve and his team here:

Contact information

Lifting Gear Direct
Steve Shaw
Managing Director
Units 16 & 17 The Wallows Industrial Estate
Brierley Hill
01384 76961

Image credits: geralt and Geisteskerker

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