Warning over lifting equipment examinations

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) is concerned that some employers are being tempted to cut costs by not conducting thorough examinations as frequently as required by the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

Equipment for lifting persons or accessories for lifting must be thoroughly examined by a competent person every six months, and annually for other equipment. LEEA says that it has recently been made aware that some users of lifting equipment are being incorrectly advised that money can be saved by extending intervals to 12 months for all items.

Separately, the Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed) has been in dialogue with the Health and Safety Executive about the risk of employers deciding to use in-house personnel to carry out examinations. Guidance document INDG 339 specifically provides advice on selection of a competent person and states that ‘it is not advisable for the same person who performs routine maintenance to carry out the thorough examination”.

The regulator has advised that any employer who allows or permits a sub-standard examination will be putting profit over safety and will be held to account.

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