Do you have questions? Towne Lifting & Testing have the answers
In order to verify that lifting equipment and accessories remain safe for use, and to detect and remedy any deterioration in good time, thorough examinations are required throughout the lifetime of the equipment, including examinations:
- Before use for the first time – unless the equipment has an EC Declaration of Conformity less than one year old and the equipment was not assembled on site. If it was assembled on site, it must be examined by a competent person to ensure that the assembly (eg a platform lift installed in a building) was completed correctly and safely
- After assembly and before use at each location – for equipment that requires assembly or installation before use, eg tower cranes
- Regularly, while in service – if the equipment is exposed to conditions that cause deterioration which is likely to result in dangerous situations. Most lifting equipment will be subject to wear and tear and so will need regular in-service examination. Some may be exposed to significant environmental conditions which may cause further deterioration.
You have a choice;
- Arrange for thorough examination to be carried out at the intervals specified by LOLER (every 6 or 12 months, depending on the equipment – see below), or
- Conduct examinations in accordance with an examination scheme, drawn up by a competent person
- following exceptional circumstances – liable to jeopardise the safety of lifting equipment, which may include:
- Damage or failure
- Being out of use for long periods
- Major changes, which are likely to affect the equipment’s integrity (eg modifications, or replacement / repair of critical parts
Unless there is an ‘examination scheme’ specifying other intervals, thorough examinations should be conducted every:
- 6 months, for lifting equipment and any associated accessories used to lift people
- 6 months, for all lifting accessories
- 12 months, for all other lifting equipment
Where an examination scheme has been drawn up, this should identify and specify:
- The parts to be thoroughly examined
- The methods of examination and testing
- The intervals for examination (and testing of the different parts, where appropriate)
- The scheme should also include details of any other inspection regimes for the equipment. Examination schemes may be drawn up by any person with the necessary competence. This does not need to be the same competent person who conducts the thorough examination in accordance with the scheme.Although examination schemes do not need to be preserved in the form of a document, it should be possible to produce a written copy when required (eg on request by the relevant enforcing authority). These should be secured from loss or unauthorised modification.
It is a formal declaration by a manufacturer, or the manufacturer’s representative, that the product to which it applies meets all relevant requirements of all product safety directives applicable to that product. It is a sign that a product has been designed and constructed for compliance with relevant essential requirements, and has been through the appropriate conformity assessment processes.
Most lifting equipment does not need routine testing as part of the thorough examination – in fact some overload tests can cause damage to lifting equipment. Where testing is deemed necessary, it may not need be undertaken at every thorough examination. The need for, and nature of, testing should be based on an assessment of risk – taking account of information from the manufacturer and other relevant information – as determined by the competent person.
If you have more questions or would like advice from the expert staff at Towne Lifting and Testing, feel free to get in touch either via email or telephone. 01482 572121