Lifting operations and equipment

Your employer must ensure the following.

  • The lifting operation is properly planned by a competent person (often referred to as the appointed person, whose role is to develop or approve the lifting plan).
  • The lifting operation is supervised by a competent person.
  • The lifting operation is carried out in a safe manner.

Poorly planned lifting operations can go wrong, and this may result in the following.

  • Fatalities or injuries to people involved in the lifting operation or to people either working in the area where the lift is taking place or under the arcs of movement of the crane.
  • Damage or structural failure.
  • Overturning of the lifting equipment.
Lifting a generator using a lorry loader

Accidents involving cranes and other lifting equipment are often caused by one or more of the following.

  • Using the wrong type of lifting equipment or equipment with the wrong rated capacity.
  • Using lifting equipment incorrectly (unsafe technique).
  • Failing to follow the agreed lift plan (system of work) for the task in hand.
  • Poor assessment of ground conditions, overhead obstructions or changing weather conditions, such as high winds.
  • Lack of co-ordination of crane movements when more than one crane is operating, and their arcs of movement overlap.
  • Lack of training of the crane operators and signallers.
  • Lifting a load of an unknown and underestimated weight or unknown centre of gravity.
  • Poor inspection and maintenance of the equipment and accessories