Cranes and Lifting Operations
All lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person; appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.All crane operators and people involved in slinging loads and directly lifting operations must be trained and competent.
A gantry crane is a type of overhead crane with a single or double girder configuration supported by freestanding legs that move on wheels or along a track or rail system. Gantry cranes are usually considered when there is a reason not to incorporate an overhead runway system.
The ‘Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998’ states that all lifting operations that involve lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised, and carried out in a safe manner. The ‘BS7121 Code of Practice for Safe Use of Cranes’ states that “the competent person for planning lifting operations is referred to as the appointed person”. Within the construction industry, competent person and appointed person are often used interchangeably.
An appointed person in lifting operations, refers to the person that is responsible for the planning, execution, and safety of a lifting operation. These tasks include ensuring that all lifting equipment is properly maintained in accordance with industry standards, inspecting lifting equipment before it is used and checking that it has not become defective, damaged or compromised in any way.
The law says that all lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person; appropriately supervised; and carried out in a safe manner.
Cranes and lifting accessories such as slings must be of adequate strength, tested and subject to the required examinations and inspections.
All crane operators, and people involved in slinging loads and directing lifting operations, must be trained and competent.
A Slinger Signaller acts as the eyes and ears of the person operating the crane who will not be able to see or hear everything that is around them. The main way this is done is through a series of hand signals which assist the operator to operate the crane in a safe way.
- Due to the responsibilities, it is advantageous to have experience in lifting operations. Assigned persons must provide recommendations based on site conditions and equipment, such as selecting the right crane and lifting accessories needed for the job based on the tasks being performed, therefore knowledge or previous experience of crane types, their limitations and capabilities is highly desirable for this role.
Appointed persons in lifting operations are responsible for the execution and safety of a lifting operation. This includes safety and welfare of all people involved in the lifting operation. This can include:
- Workers on-site
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Equipment operators
- Members of the public who may be affected by your work activities (e.g., pedestrians crossing roads near construction sites),
- Other appointed persons who have been assigned responsibility for specific areas or tasks within an overall project.