Global Lifting Awareness Day 2021

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

LEEA has created Global Lifting Awareness Day 2021 that will take place on 9th July 2021 to help raise global awareness of high-quality lifting practice. Join us in promoting the importance of using high quality suppliers and acknowledging their work as they provide years of experience. Be inspired to comprehend the vital role lifting plays in so many supply chains of many industries. Lifting equipment is fundamental to use when goods, products, materials or people are moved as it helps us reach higher and further and it allows us to go beyond the dangerous or complex situations. Nobles offer the highest quality of lifting standards and understand the importance of best practices to avoid the risk of workplace injury.

LEEA members are invited to take part in #GLAD2021 on the 9th of July! GLAD will be a chance for members to take to social media and spread the word about raising standards throughout the global lifting industry and to end user markets. “We want End Users to learn about our industry and the crucial role we perform supporting not only their productivity, but also their safety. GLAD will be a day where we raise broad awareness of the industry and the importance of high standards within it,” says Ross Moloney, Chief Executive Officer - LEEA.

To see Nobles spread awareness of #GLAD2021, follow us on social media.

 


General requirements for the inspection and integrity of lifting gear

There is a wide variety of lifting equipment in the market today, including chain slings, wire rope slings, wire rope terminations, shackles, chain blocks, lever hoists and creeper winches to name a few. Simply relying on a manufacturers assertion that the equipment complies with Australian Standards is no longer adequate. Manufacturers are located all over the world and are covered by a range of regulatory and legislative requirements. At Nobles, we always test our imported products to ensure they not only comply with the product’s individual specifications but to ensure they comply with Australian Standards as well as our own strict safety standards.

The concern for anyone involved in the design, purchase, use or maintenance of lifting and rigging equipment is how to ensure that you and your people are working safely and within regulations. Today, many employers and worksites mandate additional requirements for when to inspect equipment and when it can no longer be used. In the event of an incident, it will need to be shown that the equipment in question has been maintained and used in accordance with those regulations, so having a thorough and documented process for ensuring this is critical.

General Principles

Users should ensure that lifting gear is regularly inspected by a ‘competent person’ and that records should be kept of these inspections. Of course, people who are using lifting gear on a daily basis should report any noticeable deterioration of any items and withdraw them from service. Such items should be referred to their supervisors for further examination by a competent person who will rule that the item be discarded, returned for service or direct that the item be repaired by the manufacturer and then returned for service.

It must be remembered that one faulty item or component of lifting gear can seriously compromise the lift and cause failure of a load which may result in significant damage and/or injury to workers. It is the responsibility of every workplace to provide safe lifting gear as failure to do so may render insurances invalid and possible further litigation.

Competent person

So just what is a ‘Competent Person’? The Australian Standard for chain slings uses this definition:

“A person having practical and theoretical knowledge and relevant experience, sufficient to enable that person to detect and evaluate defects and weaknesses that may affect the intended performance of the equipment. In court may be called upon to explain your level of competence. Often a Dogger, Rigger or Height Safety Trained individual.”

There are a number of additional key issues that come into play when considering a person ‘competent’, for example, a person’s on-the-job experience, competency-based training that is based on the Australian Standards, and the recording of that person’s training. Some standards, such as for Grade T Chain Slings (AS 3775.2, s9.2), even go further to stipulate regular eye tests and the ability to see colour effectively, and that such tests must be recorded.

So, what is one to make of all this? On one hand, ‘competency’ is a fairly vague term, and one that suggests that if the manager or supervisor says someone is competent, then that is sufficient. However, the vast array of standards are always being reviewed, and a move to a firm, practical definition of competency is building ever closer. In this environment, it makes sense to have very well planned and executed policies in place that manage your risk – and if this is not practical, bring in an experienced third party that can help.

How often to inspect

A frequently asked question which has no single answer. First, let’s clarify what an inspection is, as there are two types of inspections discussed in most of the Australian Standards – in-service and periodic.

In-service

A visual inspection prior to each use. This implies that prior to each lift, the user has a good look over the equipment (sling, hook, lifting points) to ensure that there is no significant damage or wear, and that the WLL tag or markings are fitted and legible. At this point, if any defects are noted, the equipment should be withdrawn from service, and inspected by a competent person who can make a decision on whether to use, repair or discard the equipment.

Periodic

Periodic inspections refer to a more careful and detailed inspection, where the equipment is cleaned, and inspected in an adequately lit location by an inspector who has been both trained and has verifiably good vision (this is specifically discussed in the Chain Sling standard). These inspections also need to be adequately documented.

Some considerations when assessing the frequency of inspections include:

- The usage of the item and the level of duty (is it loaded to its working load all the time)

- The usage and storage environment, such as dirty or corrosive worksites

- Various types of lifting gear are more prone to early degradation. For example, slings made of synthetic fibers and some wire rope slings with soft eyes can be expected to need more constant examination

Some common inspection frequencies recommended by Nobles in accordance with Australian Standards are listed below. If you are responsible for lifting and rigging gear, it is up to you to determine whether these frequencies are suitable, or whether a more frequent inspection program is needed.

Common inspection frequencies

Soft Slings/FWS

AS 1353.2

Slings shall be inspected by a competent person at intervals of service of not more than 3 months.

Chain Assemblies

AS 3775.2

Periodic inspection by competent person.

Nobles suggested 12 monthly intervals.

Lashing Chain

AS 4344

Regular inspection by the user.

Wire Rope Assemblies

AS 1666

Recommended periodic inspection by a competent person 12 monthly, subject to usage.

Lifting Clutches

AS 3850

A proof test using a load equal to 1.2 times the WLL shall be conducted and recorded at least 12 monthly intervals.

Lifting Beams

AS 4991

Lifting devices shall be inspected by a competent person at intervals specified by the manufacturer or by the competent person.

Nobles suggested 12 monthly.

Monorail/Gantry

AS 1418.3

Initial inspection not greater than 2 years (in first 6 years), then 12 monthly.

At the time of commissioning only each hoist shall be proof loaded to 100% of its rated capacity AS1418.3, 1418.18.

Harnesses/Lanyards

Operator inspection before and after each use. Documented inspection 6 monthly by height safety equipment Inspector.

Horizontal or vertical lifelines

  - Webbing or fibre ropes

Documented inspection 6 monthly by height safety equipment Inspector.

Horizontal or vertical lifelines 

  - Steel rope or rail

Frequency of inspection by height safety equipment Inspector as recommended by the manufacturer, a maximum of 5 yearly. Documented 12 monthly inspection in the absence of such recommendations.

Anchors chemical & mechanical

If not secured with nut

Proof load yearly. Rating 15kN 1 person, 21kN 2 people. Must be documented.

Anchor nut secured

No proof load but structure needs to be tested or engineer certified.

Type 1 Fall Arrestors

Rope grabs, lad safe, lifeline. Annual documented Inspection by height safety equipment Inspector.

Type 2 Fall Arrestors

Self-retracting lifelines. 6 monthly documented inspection. Service as recommended by the manufacturer to a maximum of 5 years. 12 monthly in the absence of such recommendation. Completed by height safety equipment inspector.

Type 3 Fall Arrestors

Self-retracting lifelines with winch. 6 monthly documented inspection. Service as recommended by the manufacturer to a maximum of 5 years. 12 monthly in the absence of such recommendation. Completed by height safety equipment inspector.

And what about testing?

Like the Australian Standards for inspection, testing lifting equipment to its proof load on a routine basis is something that is the responsibility of the owner to manage. If sourced from a reputable supplier in Australia, your equipment will have been proof load tested, either at manufacture, assembly, or before delivery, and sometimes at all three stages.

For example, a chain sling supplier following best practice will have sourced chain, fittings and components that are batch tested to destruction during manufacture, batch tested upon receipt in the warehouse, and then proof load tested after being assembled into the final sling. This is your assurance that you are providing your staff with good quality, compliant and safe equipment in the field.

What about after they have been used? The most common approach is that if equipment is being visually inspected prior to each use, and thoroughly inspected on a regular basis, that a proof load test every 12 or 24 months is adequate. Like inspections, the time between proof load tests will vary depending on the equipment, its use, and the environment it’s working in.

One exception to this rule is for equipment that has been repaired, or had a component replaced, such as the replacement of a hook on a chain sling. The Australian Standards consistently state that following any repair or modification, the equipment shall be proof load tested to its stated or labelled working load limit. This is the only way to ensure that any repaired equipment is ready and safe to return to service.

In conclusion

Nobles prides itself on quality checking all manufacturers to ensure the products we provide our customers complying with Australian Standards. We have a range of inspection, testing and certifying services available that can be provided inhouse or onsite. Our staff are also highly trained, qualified and undergo regular assessment to ensure they are able to provide the same high-quality services Nobles are known for.

If you have any questions about your lifting and rigging equipment or the frequency at which it should be services, please contact our Service Support Team on 1300 711 559 or TechServices@nobles.com.au. We have the knowledge and resources to provide you with quality services and even ongoing predictive, preventative and planned maintenance plans.

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