Posts Tagged ‘lifting equipment engineers association’

Hoist UK Welcome New Starter to Their Sales Team

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Hoist UK are proud to announce and welcome Colin Jones to their sales team as Technical Sales Engineer. Colin has been in the lifting industry for almost 25 years, having been previously employed by Chester Chain Co. where he started off on a temporary contract as a lifting equipment engineer, working his way through the ranks in various roles including site supervisor, & works manager, until he became General Manager in 2013. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience of standard & specialised lifting equipment, along with his formal LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) qualifications.

“Having Colin join our team is a major asset for the company, as it is always difficult to employ a technical engineer with a proven track record in the industry” commented Hoist UK Director Paul Jordan. “Colin has a vast knowledge of the lifting equipment sector, and he will be a real advantage to us as the company grows, especially assisting with specialist projects that we are working on” he adds.

For the full article, click here.

Putting on a Safe Show

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Demand for hoists is healthy within the entertainment industry – as is the regard for safety within the sector. Sally Spencer reports

It was a brisk start to the year for hoist manufacturers and distributors supplying into the entertainment sector.

At Hoist UK, for example, Paul Jordan reported a pick up in business after the customary festive season slow down. The company has seen good levels of business across both its industrial and entertainment operations over the last 12 months and has taken on more staff to cater for demand. It’s also relocating later this year and will double the size of its premises.

The entertainment sector in particular seems to have been recession proof and for those companies operating globally, while one economy is in the doldrums, another may be buoyant.

“We had contracts in China and in India and that helped us during the recession in the UK,” said Jordan.

Major events, particularly sporting ones, also went ahead, providing lucrative business – Hoist UK, for example, supplied equipment for the London Olympics. This year it is set to supply another significant sporting event although it’s too soon in the contract to name names.

Fixed installations within theatres and arenas have provided the “larger monetary value” contracts over the last year, however, and the company is nearing completion on a project to provide London’s National Theatre with crane systems and hoists for its NT Futures programme.

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“For this we’ve been dealing with the theatre’s requirements for entertainment hoists and aluminium trussing for above stage and rear/side stage mounting locations, as well as providing more industrial style cranes and hoisting systems for the back stage area for the theatre’s in-house carpentry, paint, metalwork and assembly facilities,” said Jordan.

Hoist UK distributes the Stagemaker chain hoist products from Verlinde and says demand for the new SR series hoist has been growing throughout the year. “The unit has been very well received by customers and meets all the relevant British and European standards as well as having all the properties a user requires with regard to weight, sound level, safety, design and flexibility – and it’s great value for money,” said Jordan.

Mantracourt, designer and manufacturer of BroadWeigh, a wireless load monitoring system for the entertainment sector, has also seen healthy demand.

“We experienced significant growth in the UK and Europe in 2014,” said Kelly Voysey, marketing manager. “Our UK distributor AC Entertainment, who supplies the sector with all kinds of rigging equipment, reports that demand has been broad from basic manual chain hoists through to advanced automated control systems. And the same can be said by our German distributor HOF Alutec.”

Mantracourt is witnessing increasing demand for its smaller 3.25 tonne shackle, especially from the US and Europe, said Voysey, adding that all sectors of the entertainment market, from touring companies, to arenas, exhibition centres, theatres and hotels were providing regular business. The company has also seen growth in the rental market.

In terms of satisfying the evolving needs of the customer base, Paul Jordan said that the push from the market place had always been for high quality, fit for purpose and “economical” products that meet both British and/or European standards and said that during the last couple of years demand had grown for Hoist UK’s own brand of winches and equipment.

“The requirement to custom build [systems] specifically for a set application has grown,” said Jordan. “Years ago you used to go to a concert and see a musician standing on stage playing an instrument; now you expect to see a show, with pyrotechnics, video walls, flying effects and so on. There’s a big push from production companies and performers trying to do more spectacular things and so the level of equipment we have to provide needs to be higher, fit for purpose and safe.”

This increased level of demand for bespoke products led to Hoist UK’s sister company, Truss UK, acquiring a 100% shareholding in AJB Precision Fabrication, which was a subcontractor to both companies.

“We can now provide custom designed and custom built products through that link,” said Jordan. “So along with providing the hoists, which we would buy in as normal, we can provide the other pieces of the jigsaw, including the structures. It’s a one-stop-shop.”

The demand for more spectacular sets at entertainment venues brings health and safety into sharp focus.

“Due to the type of lifting in the entertainment sector, with 90% of the lifting and suspending of loads over people, regulations, standards and codes of practice play a major part in what we do and how we do it,” said Matt Millward, rigging manager of Mantracourt distributor, AC Entertainment.

Having said that, as both Jordan and John Williams, operations manager at the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) point out, the basic legal requirements for the entertainment sector are no different to those in other industries.

“If you pick up a load, whether it’s in a factory or an entertainment venue you can’t drop it,” said Jordan. “But we risk assess the application and mitigate those risks and that includes in the design of the unit for its intended use.

“We operate with higher levels of redundancy or increased level safety systems within the equipment when dealing with applications that would not be done in a normal industrial setting, such as moving and statically suspending loads above people’s heads and flying people or objects around within a controlled environment – but in essence it’s the same.”

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) legislative framework within which the industry works has raised safety standards without placing an unnecessary or onerous burden on employers, said Williams.

“Above all else it adopts a flexible, risk-based approach that correctly places the emphasis on the ‘human factor’ but is not unduly prescriptive. For example, LOLER demands that lifting operations are properly planned, supervised and performed by competent people – but leaves it to the employer to determine precisely how this is done.”

He added that the relative success of LOLER is reflected in the fact that it has been left unchanged by the UK Coalition Government’s wide-ranging review of health and safety legislation.

“LOLER is also increasingly being adopted as best practice by employers working outside the UK, particularly in countries that lack sector-specific legislation,” said Williams.

Jordan sees adherence to the legislation as a joint responsibility between the supplier and the customer. The onus is on the supplier to provide equipment that’s fit for purpose, while the owner and user must risk assess his own operations and ensure the kit is inspected and serviced on a regular basis.

The frequent challenge here, quite simply, is for employers in the entertainment sector to keep track of all the equipment that falls under the remit of LOLER.

“Crucially, LOLER defines lifting equipment as ‘work equipment for lifting and lowering loads and includes its attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it’,” said Williams.

For the full article, please click here

Hoist UK Become Full Members of LEEA

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Hoist UK have recently completed a full LEEA audit, and have been granted full membership of LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) effective from 1st August 2014.

LEEA is the leading representative body for all those involved in the lifting industry worldwide, and has played a key role in this specialised field for over seventy years offering members advice and training on standards, regulations and health and safety within the lifting equipment profession.

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“Becoming full LEEA members marks another step towards our commitment to the safety and training of our employees and assuring customers that they are our top priority, this goes hand in hand with our most recent accreditations in quality management (ISO: 9001) and environmental management (ISO: 14001)” says Louise Dickson General Manager of Hoist UK.

Paul Jordan, Director of Hoist UK Comments: “We have been working on this since applying for development membership in the autumn 2013, and are extremely proud to have achieved full membership in such a short space of time.” He adds: “Without the hard work and dedication of our staff, this would not have been possible”.

LEEA is actively involved in all aspects of the industry, promoting the highest technical and safety standards and representing the interests of their members worldwide.

For further information visit: or contact:

Remember: Safety Above All

Leading Role

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Having trodden the boards at Hoist UK since 2008, it’s time for the company’s new general manager, Louise Dickson, to step into the spotlight. By Richard Howes

Louise Dickson followed her father, Tony, into the lifting business. He was general manager at Tomcat UK, a division of an American-headquartered company largely known for its truss systems, before he and Paul Jordan founded Hoist UK in 2006, where she now holds the same position.

She knew what a hoist was at a younger age than most of the industry’s leading engineers, even if her father’s involvement in the entertainment business made it an easier sell than if he were providing equipment for the industrial sector.

“I was aware of what he did,” Dickson says. “And I had a keen interest in some of the projects he worked on. He would come home and tell us about the equipment Tomcat had supplied for all the major tours and big artists at the time. We would watch TV and I would point out all the clever stuff my dad had been involved in making to all my friends.”

Image 1 - Louise Dickson

Dickson can even chart her memories of pointing proudly at the lifting and rigging equipment when the UK music awards, the BRITs, were televised in 2002. She was 16 years old at the time. For the record, it was the year Shaggy took home the International Male Solo Artist award, while comedian Ali G, who “performed” with Shaggy on the night, made a cameo appearance.

“At that point my dad was the divisional manager for PCM [a division of Pfaff-silberblau] and he was at the show, which was televised live and my dad was operating some of the equipment being used to fly video screens and Ali G onto the stage. From then on, whenever we went to the theatre, he would point out the kit above the stage and explain to me how it all worked and went together.”

A man’s world

Dickson’s future appeared written in the stars but she saw a fundamental barrier to entry. “Actually,” she says, “I had never thought about a career in the lifting industry, I guess because I used to see it as a male-oriented profession.”

It was actually her father’s business partner and Hoist UK co-founder Paul Jordan who changed her perspective. The company had gone through its first growth period and had moved to a larger office with a workshop.

“They were really busy,” Dickson recalls, “and they needed some help on the office side. I was in a position where I couldn’t progress my career any further in my job and, as I had said since that BRITs show, I was really interested in the business, so when Paul approached me to see if I would like to join their team I jumped at the chance.

“I actually really just wanted the opportunity to be involved in some way and never thought I would get to this position, but I decided to give it a go—and I’ve not looked back since.”

She adds: “I have a great relationship with my dad both at home and at work but in the daily running of the business it is Paul that I work with. He says he saw the potential in me right from the start and looking back I can see that now; he spent a lot of time training me on product at first, then when we took on more office staff he would take me on site visits and have me help out in the workshop.”

Jordan says: “I recognised her potential almost immediately and we have guided her progress, letting her gain a thorough knowledge through various roles leading up to this present position. Louise’s ability to not only head the sales team, but also her leadership skills, industry and product knowledge, make her the perfect candidate to take on the role.”

Dickson returns the compliment: “Tony and Paul are great to work for, and I’m not just saying that because one is my dad. Their work ethic is admirable, and they are so enthusiastic about the products and the industry. They really are outstanding role models for anyone with ambition; I could not have asked for better mentors.”

As the planets continued to align in those early days at Hoist UK, Dickson met another huge influence on her career—and her life—in Siobhan Hitchen, who is managing director of Rope Assemblies and was recently named the first female director of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), where Hoist UK is a member company.

“Siobhan is one of the first females I met when I started working for Hoist UK,” says Dickson. She goes further: “She’s probably the reason that I am in the position I am in today.

“When I went to the first PLASA [entertainment show] a shy and uncertain sales administrator, we shared a stand with Rope Assemblies and Siobhan kind of took me under her wing as she had been in the same position some years earlier. Her advice and continued support has, and is, a great help to me. She is a very strong, ambitious lady, who is greatly respected in our industry. She is an inspiration to any young person—especially females.”

To read more, and to view the original article, please click here

LEEA Innovation Award winners

Monday, December 16th, 2013

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) has awarded Van Beest and Hoist UK with Best Product and Best Application prizes at the LEEA Innovation Awards held at LiftEx 2013, Bolton USN Arena, UK, in November.


John Williams, operations manager for LEEA (right), presents the Innovation Award for Best Application to Paul Jordan of Hoist UK, at  LiftEx 2013.

Van Beest, producer of high tensile shackles, was awarded the Best Product prize for its Green Pin ROV shackles, which are designed for use with remote operated vehicles (ROVs) in sub-sea environments. Hoist UK, a manufacturer, distributor and supplier of lifting and handling equipment, was awarded Best Application for its Oblik modular lightweight load bearing structure.

For the original article, please click here.