From Overhead Crane Training To Wearing The Right PPE: Top Tips For Using Lifting Equipment Safely
Lifting equipment is commonplace on building sites and construction areas, but are you using it in the safest way possible? From cranes and hoists to forklifts and chain blocks, there is a whole range of equipment and accessories that make lifting heavy loads a whole lot easier.
When using any type of machinery or equipment you must follow the right safety procedures to avoid hazards, injuries and keep the equipment in a safe condition. Adhering to these guidelines not only means your business stays on the right side of the law but the quality and efficiency of your work aren’t affected.
If you’re new to using lifting equipment or you need a little refresh about the safety rules you need to think about, this blog is for you. Read on for all our top tips for using lift equipment safely.
What is lifting equipment?
If you work on a construction site or you’re part of a construction project you are likely to have at least one type of lifting equipment around you. Not all heavy items can be lifted by hand which is where lifting equipment comes in, however, they must be operated by trained members of staff. Lifting equipment can be used for moving different types of items such as bulk materials, sacks, bags and pallets. Depending on your needs, you can buy these types of equipment or even hire them such as crane rental for short-term projects.
The types of lifting equipment you might use includes:
● Lifting chains
● ropes and slings
● Pull lifts
● Chain blocks
● Eyebolts and ‘D’ links
● A crane with attachments
● Lorry mounted loader crane
● Mobile elevating work platform (cherrypicker).
Do you need safety lifting gear?
PPE, also known as Personal Protection Equipment, is a range of safety gear that should be worn on site. This includes helmets, gloves, goggles, hi-vis jackets and protective footwear. PPE is there for your own safety, so always make sure you’re wearing appropriate gear when operating.
Who can operate lifting equipment?
Lifting equipment should only be operated by trained members of staff or those with previous experience in lifting operations. If you are thinking about crane rental, you will need to have people on site who know exactly how the equipment works and the safety precautions they need to take.
To ensure that lifting equipment is being used correctly, the following areas need to be considered:
Without the correct training, how do you expect your staff to use the equipment safely? You must be aware of what’s going on across your site and enforce strict rules about safety to your staff. Not only can incorrect usage lead to serious injuries, but damage to the equipment itself which could leave you with a hefty bill.
Knowing the weight restrictions of each piece of equipment means you won’t end up loading on too much weight. Overloading anything is very dangerous and could cause the equipment to become unstable and topple over. This is why it's so important that equipment is only used by trained personnel, but information about maximum loads should also be clearly marked for everyone to see.
Assessing the area
Before lifting anything the surrounding area needs to be risk assessed so there are no hazards in the way. The equipment must be used on a level surface with no one standing within close proximity of the crane, hoist or chain. Take a good look around before starting anything and keep an eye out for potential dangers while the equipment is in use - never move a heavy load above people’s heads.
What is a crane inspection service?
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) are a set of regulations created under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act of 1974. As part of this, LOLER inspections need to be carried out by an independent inspector and regular intervals.
Standards state that as a minimum, equipment should be inspected:
● Every six months for lifting equipment used for lifting/lowering persons.
● Every six months for lifting accessories.
● Every 12 months for all other lifting equipment not falling into either of the above categories
The inspection looks at cranes, hoists and any other type of lifting equipment you have, checking all areas and parts to ensure everything is in good working order. The checks include:
● Examining chains and links including the maximum stretch for the chain
● The strength of the chain including areas of wear and tear on the links
● Signs of distortion, stretching or twisting on chain hooks
● Damages slings
● Suitable for the purpose
● Attached to a suitable lifting point
If you’ve been wondering - is there a crane service near me? Here at Crane & Lifting Services, our experienced team are on hand to conduct inspections of your equipment. This will be implemented by a professional examiner and help to keep your employees safe and secure at work. If you’ve had an accident, you’ll also be required to have an examination performed on your equipment. Get in touch today for more information.
Should you hire or purchase lifting equipment?
Depending on your needs, project and experience you should consider whether you’d like to hire or purchase your lifting equipment. One important thing you should think about is where you are going to store it if you do decide to buy a crane, hoist or similar equipment. Having a safe place to keep your equipment will help to maintain it and prevent accidents too, so make sure you have this sorted before going ahead with a purchase.
You should also consider the following questions:
● Is the equipment you’re buying industry compliant? - When you hire equipment the company will need to check every piece before hiring it out to a new client, so you can rest assured that the equipment you’re getting is safe. However, when you buy it outright you will need to take care of this yourself through regular inspections.
● Does your job vary? - If you’re constantly taking on different kinds of work then hiring equipment may be more cost-effective - there's no point buying something that you are going to use infrequently.
● What are you trained to use? - Only buy equipment that you know how to use or plan on getting training for. Take a good look at what the company has on offer and what can benefit your business, there are plenty of short-term and long-term hire options available.
Crane & Lifting Services: Overhead crane hire and maintenance
If you require high-quality lifting equipment, servicing or inspections look no further than Crane & Lifting Services. We work across the UK including Bristol, London, Cardiff and Aylesbury, helping clients look after their equipment.
To ensure that your employees are protected, you must keep your lifting equipment in a safe condition through regular inspections and servicing. Our team is fully trained to identify any problems with your machinery and get them sorted before an accident occurs. From LOLER inspections to brake adjustments and crane modifications, our services will keep your equipment in good working condition so you can continue to work to the highest standards.
Hire a lifting equipment specialist that you can trust to keep your equipment operating safely. We also offer high-quality hire options all under one roof, so you can get on with your construction project. For more information get in touch today and book your inspection.