1. Person

  • 1.1 Has the person been trained to operate the lifting equipment and hold a current license?

  • 1.2 Is the person physically capable?

  • 1.3. Does the person suffer from vertigo or any other condition which would affect working at height?

2. Equipment suitability and inspection

  • 2.1 Is the equipment correct for the task?

  • The equipment should be specifically built for the task, have a certificate of conformance and CE mark with correctly matched components

  • 2.2 Will the equipment fail to safe?

  • Determine what will happen if there is a loss of power or pressure. The load may remain in position, return to a safe position or fall.

  • 2.3 Has the equipment undergone a thorough inspection by an independent body within the necessary time scale?

  • Statutory inspection reports are required on cranes and hoists at least every 14 months.

  • 2.4 Does the operator carry out visual inspection daily or before first time use?

  • Operators have a duty of care to ensure that there are no obvious signs of damage. If damage is detected this should be reported immediately and obtain confirmation that the equipment is safe to use

  • 2.5 Is the equipment damage free?

  • Casings, hoses, cables, controller, emergency stop etc all intact and securely located.

3. Strength, Stability & Markings

  • 3.1 Does the equipment have a working limit marked?

  • The SWL should be marked on all main pieces of the equipment i.e. Crane, hoist, supporting structure and below the hook items.

  • 3.2 Are all the SWL's above the weight of the load?

  • * The equipment is only as strong as its weakest part. no lift must proceed if the load exceeds 95% of the SWL of any component.
    * The equipment should have a safety margin of between 25% and 50% above the stated SWL but this is for abnormal events only and should not be relied upon.

  • 3.3 Does the weight of the lift take into account the weight of the lifting accessories?

  • The total weight should be calculated and not exceed 95% of the SWL.

  • 3.4 Is the centre of gravity of the load easily located?

  • The load should be lifted from the centre of gravity to prevent swinging

  • 3.5 Is the load lifted vertically to prevent dragging of the load?

  • Lifting equipment is designed to lift vertically and should not be used to drag a load to the vertical position as this may cause additional stress and failure of the carriage or critical lifting components.

  • 3.6 Does the task have the optimum lifting points to prevent load from tipping?

  • Lifting should occur from specific lifting points which are strong enough to support the full weight. 4 points of contact on the load are more favourable than 1 as they spread the load weight and provide additional stability.

  • 3.7 Is the lifting equipment attached to the load in the most secure way?

  • Closed loop systems such as chains and slings provide the safest way of attaching a load and should take preference over grabs and pressure reliant systems.

  • 3.8 Is the angle of the sling, rope or chain within the maximum recommended 60 degree from the vertical?

  • * Single leg lifts should be at 90 degrees to the load i.e. Straight vertical lift
    * Multiple leg lifts should be placed evenly at 45 degrees to the load from the centre ring
    * No equipment should exceed 60 degrees

  • 3.9 Is the equipment secured correctly to the floor, walls or building stanchions with adequate securing points and does not demonstrate unexpected movement during operation?
    Are tracks and support beams in good condition?

  • Some movement and vibration is expected dependent upon the size of the equipment, however it should not involve excessive bending, twisting or movement from the equipment anchors.

  • 3.10 Is access to the load and lifting points suitably located as to prevent a person from having to climb over equipment to locate and release the lifting device?

  • Climbing over equipment should be avoided to prevent slip, trip and falls from height. Access ladders, steps and platforms should be considered.

  • 3.11 Are crane directional signals in place?

  • Colour coding or arrows on the building walls, crane framework should match with the directional buttons on the controller to reduce directional errors.

4. Positioning and Installation

  • 4.1 Has the equipment been installed so not to cause tripping hazards from floor bolts, feet and cables?

  • Floor area where the operator is expected to walk and stand should be clear or slipping and tripping hazards. Bolt threads and pillar reinforcements should be covered and highlighted.

  • 4.2 Has the area of operation been highlighted?

  • Equipment should be positioned as to not cause collision with other equipment or persons working in the area. Signage could be used. Colour coding or floor markings are one example of identifying the collision zone.

  • 4.3 Is there a safe system and device in place to prevent collision between multiple lifting equipment?

  • Overhead cranes should have stops, limit switches or sensors to prevent them colliding with each other on the same track.

  • 4.4 Is there a designated route of travel to prevent collision?
    Has any risk of loads dropping onto other equipment or from height during movement been eliminated?

  • * The load movement path should not involve lifting over other critical equipment or areas where persons are working. Consider what would happen if the equipment were to fail and the load drop at any point along the movement path.
    * Loads should not be transported at height greater than 0.5 metres from floor level.

  • 4.5 Is there visibility into the working area or along the movement path?

  • There should be good visibility into the area such that the operator and pedestrians can be seen to limit collision and prevent a lone working scenario.

  • 4.6 Have stops and limit switches been fitted to the end of tracks and supporting structures?

  • Stops should be bolted with high grade bolts, not welded, to prevent crane and hoist gearing overshooting the edge of tracks. Limit switches to firstly slow equipment speed then to stop travel should be fitted and tested.

  • 4.7 Has the equipment undergone a thorough inspection by an independent competent person?

  • Below the hook items should be inspected at least every 6 months. A colour coding system can be used to signify the equipment has been inspected. A notification should be displayed in the area to indicate the valid colour.

  • 4.8 Are chains and rings wear free?

  • Particularly at contact points. An 8% tolerance from the original diameter of the material is allowed.

  • 4.9 Are chains and rings free from distortion?

  • Any amount of bending or twisting from its original shape amounts to unacceptable distortion.

  • 4.10 Are chains and rings free from signs of stretching?

  • Stretching at the lifting points from the original shape into a 'V' shape at the contact points constitutes overstress and breakdown of material integrity.

  • 4.11 Are chains and rings free from cracks?

  • Cracks can be hidden or disguised as scratches but are more likely to occur over the contact points. Hairline cracks can develop over time and result in instant shear failure of the remaining material. Equipment should be cleaned and inspected closely and discarded immediately if cracks are detected.

  • 4.12 Are wire ropes free from broken strands?

  • A rope must be discarded if the number of wire breaks exceed 5% of the number of outer strand wires in a length 10 x the rope diameter. It should also be discarded if concentrations of 3 or more wires are found in close proximity of the end of the wire, in one strand or 5 broken wires are found between two adjacent strands. A rope calliper or vernier gauge can be used to measure diameter.

  • 4.13 Is the reduction in rope diameter at an acceptable level?

  • A rope should be discarded if the diameter anywhere along its length falls to 97% or rises to 105% of its nominal size. Note nominal size is the size a rope settles to after its first use and after it has tightened from new.

  • 4.14 Is the rope corrosion free?

  • This may be internal as well as external, general or localised. The rope should be discarded when the surface of the wires is severely roughened or pitted or if the wires are slack within the strands due to wastage.

  • 4.15 Is the rope free from deformation?

  • * Waviness, ropes should be removed if when laid on a level surface the wave exceeds 33% of the nominal.
    * birdcage (basket) when the outer strands become longer than the inner strands such that the full load is not being distributed equally.
    * loop formations when groups of wires form a line of loops parallel to the length of the rope.
    * kinks caused when the rope cannot rotate about its axis and twists resulting in a serious loss of strength.
    * flat areas where the rope has been bent over the rim of a sheave, sharp object or at cross over points when the rope is coiled over a drum winch.

  • 4.16 Is the rope free from heat distortion?

  • Heating ropes to over 300 degrees c will cause considerable reduction in tensile strength.

5. Environment

  • 5.1 Is the lighting adequate to allow clear vision of the lifting task?

  • The operator should be able to see clearly when attaching lifting equipment, controls to use and the movement pathway. 250 lux is recommended as a minimum.

  • 5.2 Is the floor in good condition?

  • Operator should be able to walk freely and backwards without the danger of slip and fall.

  • 5.3 Is there adequate space for the placement of parts so as not to create trapping points?

  • Parts should not be placed so close as to cause a trap point. Operators should not place themselves in narrow areas where there is no or limited means of a quick escape should a load fall.

  • 5.4 Is the area of load placement suitably flat and of adequate strength to support the load?

  • The placement area should be able to support the weight of any load placed on it ( particularly on a raised floor level). The area should be level and free from debris to prevent sliding of the load once placed and detached from the lifting equipment.

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