Lifting equipment is any equipment used at work for lifting or lowering loads, including attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it.
Diverse examples include chair and passenger lifts, dumb waiters, hoists, cherry pickers, forklift trucks, rope and pulley systems and mobile elevating work platforms. Lifting accessories such as chains, slings or eyebolts are also lifting equipment.
Danger when using lifting equipment can result from:
- people or their clothing coming into contact with pulleys and chains
- sharp edges or points and rough surfaces
- damaged parts (for example badly worn chains; kinked, twisted or frayed ropes)
- overloading with loads that are too heavy or exceed safe working limits
- slip and trip hazards, or other obstructions in the vicinity of lifting equipment
- poor or no maintenance
- overturning as a result of weak support, operating outside the machine's capabilities or by striking obstructions
- collision with other equipment, overhead cables or structures
- failure of support by locating over cellars and drains, outriggers not extended, made-up or not solid ground or structural components
- operator errors from impaired/restricted visibility, poor eyesight, inadequate training
- loss of the load from failure of lifting tackle or slinging procedures.
You may need to make sure that lifting equipment:
- is sufficiently strong, stable and suitable for its intended use
- is positioned or installed to prevent people being injured – for example, from being struck by a load
- is clearly marked with appropriate safety information, for example safe working load limits etc.
You must also make sure that lifting operations are planned, supervised and carried out in a safe manner by people who are competent. Some lifting equipment and accessories may need to be thoroughly examined before they are used for the first time.
Read more about managing the risk from lifting equipment.