Church lifting equipment

16 December 2019

Any lifting equipment at your church needs to be safe to use.

Candelabra in church

Typical church lifting equipment

Broadly speaking, lifting equipment includes any powered or non-powered equipment for lifting or lowering loads. It includes any attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting loads (such as chains, eyebolts etc.).
Some churches do have large, heavy, ornate font covers that are raised and lowered by a system of pulleys with counterweights. Similar mechanisms are also used to raise and lower other fixtures such as large candelabras. 
In larger churches, you may find other lifting equipment including chair and passenger lifts, hoists and occasionally other lifting equipment associated with construction work.

Making sure lifting equipment is safe

As an employer or someone in control of lifting equipment, you will need to make sure that it is: 
  • Sufficiently strong, stable and suitable for its intended use 
  • Positioned or installed to prevent people from being injured – for example, from being struck by a load 
  • Clearly marked with appropriate safety information – for example, safe working load limits etc.

Examinations, inspections and checks

For simple lifting equipment, it may be necessary to arrange for periodic checks to be completed on it. This will be for equipment whose main purpose is to lift/lower a load and the load is lifted free from a supporting structure and where it is provided for work purposes or to people who are at work. Even if this is not the case, you will still have to make sure that any equipment (including lifting equipment) is safe. 
As such, this type of equipment needs to be marked with its safe working load, and simple instructions for use provided. It will need to be thoroughly examined by a competent person every 12 months. However, this periodicity can be varied in accordance with any advice provided by them. This would need to be confirmed in writing.
Our church lifting equipment guidance notes include detailed advice on the actions you can take to prevent accidents and injuries.