Hiring a crane is a technically complex and requires skill and experience to select the right crane for the project, assess the risk involved and produce a Method Statement to meet the standards of BS7121.
Our Safe Lifting information helps define the terms and conditions under which we operate and provides guidance to assist with the safe planning of a lifting operation. It should also help you to determine whether you require our Crane Hire or Contract Lifting services.
On every occassion, the team at AE Engineering is on-hand to offer advice and guidance on the most suitable lifting arrangement for your requirements. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your project in more detail.
The documents found on the Construction Plant-Hire Association (CPA) website provide conditions and important supplementary information. Clients are advised to download the relevant documents and familiarise themselves with the information.
“ALL LIFTING OPERATIONS MUST BE PROPERLY PLANNED, APPROPRIATELY SUPERVISED AND CARRIED OUT SAFELY.”
(Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulation 8)
AE Engineering are committed to providing safe lifting operations whether these are performed under Crane Hire or Contract Lift conditions.
Even the best planned lifting operations can go wrong due to unforeseen circumstances, but by using the following guidelines AE Engineering and/or its customers can reduce the risk substantially. If a customer has any doubts they should consult the experts.
In determining whether a person is ‘trained’ and ‘competent’, AE Engineering recognise and follow the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) which is organized and administered by the Construction Industry Training Board and City and Guilds. This provides independent assessment and certification of individuals Key Responsibilities.
The key responsibilities and personnel to provide a safe lift are outlined below:
Under BS7121 Part 1 the role of the Appointed Person is to provide a safe system of working by:
Properly planning the lifting operation by the preparation of a comprehensive Risk Assessment and Method Statement. In producing these documents the Appointed Person must take account of:
- The site – access and egress, gradients, ground type, excavations, overhead electric or telephone cables and other proximity hazards.
- Potential weather conditions, in particular wind and thunderstorms.
Selecting a crane of suitable capacity to perform the operation with an adequate margin of safety including:
- The size and type of crane, its duties and outrigger settings and loadings, the radius at which it will work and boom length.
Selecting the appropriate load handling equipment, including chains, slings, lifting beams, spreaders, lifting eyes etc. taking account of:
- The load – weight and dimensions, lift points, sharp edges and location before and after the lifting operation.
- The weight of the equipment to be used and the impact on the overall weight to be lifted.
Determining the method of attaching the load to the crane (the slinging technique).
- Ensuring that the crane and lifting equipment has current test certification and has no obvious defects.
- Ensuring that the Lifting Team is trained and competent and has been properly briefed.
The Appointed Person must prepare the Risk Assessment and Method Statement himself, but may delegate some or all of the other duties to a competent person such as a Crane Supervisor or other competent person who could take responsibility for the lifting operation on site. Any amendments to the Risk Assessment or Method Statement that may be necessary due to changes in site conditions must be approved by the Appointed Person.
The Crane Supervisor directs and supervises the lifting operation if this responsibility has been delegated to him by the Appointed Person. He therefore accepts all the duties and responsibilities that the Appointed Person would perform on site and ensures the lift is carried out in accordance with the Method Statement. He has the authority to halt the operation if he considers it dangerous to proceed.
The Crane Operator is responsible for the safe working of the crane within the safe system of work (the Risk Assessment and Method Statement) and the manufacturer’s instructions. The crane operator should:
- Be trained on the specific model of crane being used.
- Understand and follow instructions in the Method Statement, duties chart and operating manual of the crane.
- Rig the crane safely.
- Understand the effects of various weather conditions on the safety of the lift.
- Be able to take action to avoid dangerous situations.
- Understand that the lifting of the load is under his control and be able to stop the operation if it becomes unsafe.
The duties of Signaller, Slinger and Banksman are often combined in to one person’s responsibility and it is usual for this person to be competent and certified in all three functions. However, on larger or more complex lifts these duties may be performed by separate individuals and the duties are described separately below:
- Slinger – The Slinger is responsible for attaching and detaching the load and for using the correct lifting equipment in accordance with the Method Statement. The Slinger directs the Crane Operator to take the weight of the lift load and ensures the load is safely slung before it is lifted to any height. The Slinger is also responsible for checking there are no overhead obstacles and for the attachment of a tag line for controlling the load once suspended, if required by the Method Statement or site conditions.
- Signaller – Once the load is suspended the Signaller relays directions to the Crane Operator for the movement of the load to its destination using either specified hand signals or via radio communications. If more than one Signaller is being used only one Signaller must give instructions at any one time and a safe system of transfer should be in place as responsibility moves between Signallers.
- Banksman – The Banksman is responsible for guiding the crane safely on and off site, especially when the crane is reversing or performing tight manoeuvres. He is also responsible for directing the Crane Operator to the correct location shown on the Berthing Study (part of the Method Statement) and for ensuring there is hazard free access and egress and movement around site if lifts take place in different locations on site.