The UK Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) has warned that employers must periodically examine lifting equipment. The announcement comes following two accidents, one of which was fatal. It should encourage revised training and equipment testing practices for manual hoists and slings.
An 81-year-old woman was killed after a failing bed hoist collapsed and a hoist in a pub was found past due conditions when regular equipment checkups were neglected. Damages awarded between the two cases totalled £18k.
The 1998 Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLERs) stipulate that all lifting equipment, including slings and clamps, be checked for safety: e.g. Visibly marked with safe working loads, is positioned for safe unloading, and used by trained operators.
Geoff Holden of LEEA said. “In the case of relatively straightforward items such as the equipment which was involved in these two cases, thorough examination is unlikely to be a particularly time consuming or expensive operation. However, it must be done by a genuinely independent and competent person, and a written report of the thorough examination kept on file by the employer.”
The LEEA has also recommended that companies looking to hire equipment testers ask candidates to show ‘TEAM’ (Test, Examine And Maintain) diploma identity cards as a qualification.