The use of lifting equipment in the workplace is covered by strict regulations – LOLER, which we’ve covered previously. However, getting the right equipment, using it and maintaining it correctly is not simply a matter of red tape; it can save lives and a lot of money.
Because of the way that accidents are recorded by the HSE, it’s not possible to establish exactly how many were caused by mistakes in the use of lifting equipment. We do know, however, that falls from height and contact with moving machinery – both accidents that may occur when using lifting equipment of various kinds – are two of the most common fatal accidents, and that non-fatal handling, lifting and carrying accidents account for more lost days than any other kind of accident.
Naturally, it is in the best interests of any employer to make sure that they have a safe workplace, as you want your workers alive, well and carrying out their duties! Sadly, however, some companies still don’t take adequate precautions, and that is why the Health and Safety Executive must enforce such legislation.
One recent example is the case of a Cumbrian firm prosecuted for safety failings and fined £16,000 plus almost £5,000 in costs following an accident at their factory. The court was told that an operator had been using a magnetic lifting attachment on an overhead crane to move a metal bar onto the top of a 12 metre long steel beam. When the attachment moved in an uncontrolled manner, it knocked the steel beam over and the beam in turn struck two employees. One suffered a dislocated ankle and broke his leg and foot in several places, meaning that he has not been able to work for more than a year. The company was found to have failed to organise the lifting operation in a safe manner. They could have prevented workers from standing in the area while the crane was in use, or implemented other measures to avoid the potential hazards involved.
Here at Peter Cassidy, we can advise you on the correct lifting equipment for your purpose and provide you with fully maintained, quality-inspected products and accessories – from cranes, hoists and winches to lifting gear and accessories like clamps in Leeds. We can even assist with site testing and examination. For more information, please contact us on 0113 2455 457 today.