Posts Tagged ‘safety above all’

When does your hoist need an general overhaul or be replaced ?

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Well that’s an interesting question… all hoists currently operating within the UK and European marketplace should be designed and manufactured in accordance with the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) and have an EC Declaration of Conformity by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

Hoists are manufactured with 10 years of serviceable life before a major overhaul or replacement is required. The ten year service life may not necessarily be a physical ten years of operation, but may be used up more quickly or slowly based on how the machine is being operated during its working life.

In order to help evaluate the working life of a hoist you need to be able to calculate how much of the original manufacturers Safe Working Period exists after your lifting operations have occurred.

All hoists start off life with a 100% SWP and as they are used the percentage will reduce until its reaches 0%, whereby a General Overhaul (GO) is normally carried out by the manufacturer or their representative. If a general overhaul is not possible or financially viable then the unit should be replaced as the serviceable life has been exceeded.

When you are buying a new hoist you need to careful select a unit which has the correct duty rating for your particular lifting operations, so that you will have a machine which does not use its SWP too quickly and require replacement.

Safe and reliable load handling are a primary concern to ensuring and maintaining safety during all lifting operations. Wear and tear due to normal use can easily result in potential problems, if they are not addressed in good time, so  knowing your remaining SWP can help with early detection of hazards caused by material fatigue, can help with predictive maintenance and also give early notification of a required general overhaul or when replacement of the hoist should occur.

All users of hoists should be aware of the remaining SWP on all the hoists in their possession and it is recommended that a log book detailing all lifting operations is kept for each unit.

Keeping a log of all lifting operations is not something I have seen done by users of hoists in the past, but there are other methods available to help give an awareness of running / operating time on each of the hoist units.

Hours in service meters fitted to your hoist do help you to evaluate how long the hoist has been operating, but these types of devices only log the amount of time the mains contactor in the hoist has been energised and not how long the electric motor has been actually running to lift and lower the load.

Predictive maintenance devices which monitor all lifting operations and weigh the load lifted, running times and lots of other hoist parameters can be used and these are probably the most accurate way to understand the hoist status, as they constantly recalculate the remaining SWP. These devices are not normally fitted to equipment and could be a costly addition to your existing hoists or any new ones you are purchasing, plus its only normally electric wire rope hoists that have predictive maintenance devices fitted to them, so are not generally available for electric chain hoists.

In order to help a user evaluate their remaining Safe Working Period (SWP), we have developed SWP calculator utility which will help you try to predict when a hoist is at the end of its working / serviceable life and should undergo a General Overhaul (GO) or be replaced.

The utility is been produced specifically for users who do not have a log book of lifting operations available for the unit in question and there are no other methods of evaluating the SWP.

You also need to bear in mind that during the hoists serviceable lifetime, the unit should still undergo regular servicing in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations and also be thoroughly inspected on a regular based by a competent person under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), in the United Kingdom.

Our SWP calculation utility can also be used to check if a hoist is suitable for particular application as buying an M3 / 1Bm duty rated hoist for an application which always lifts the maximum load or runs for a prolonged period may not be the best decision as the SWP will be used up quicker.

In order to check if a hoist is suitable, key in data of how you would like to use the machine in the future and adjust the duty factor variable to see the effect on the machine operating at that level for the period of time you want it to operate. From that output data you will know if the machine is suitable or not. If you haven’t already purchased the hoist, you will know the duty of the hoist you need to purchase do your lifting operations.

The SWP calculation utility has been designed to output a PDF document via email that can be printed for each hoist in your possession and updated periodically during the hoists lifetime to help predict your remaining SWP.

The indicative calculation of remaining serviceable life of the hoist can then be  held with the EC Declaration of Conformity, service reports, LOLER inspection reports and any other relevant health and safety documentation for the unit.

Click on the following link to use our free utility: SWP Hoist Calculation

Remember: Safety Above All

Hoist UK Moves to New 10,000 Sq Ft Unit

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Lifting equipment specialists Hoist UK & Sister Company Truss UK have recently moved to bigger premises, significantly increasing the size of their previous facilities. The new offices, workshop and warehouse are still based on the Wirral peninsula and are ideally located in the heart of the UK motorway network.

The move reflects the growth and success of both companies over the last year which has seen an expansion in the company, the product range and business generally which meant that they outgrew their previous site. The new workspace boasts a 10,000 sq ft building, along with extensive yard space.

HOIST UK is a UK distributor for the complete range of Verlinde industrial and entertainment lifting equipment, as well as offering complete design, manufacture and installation services for all your lifting equipment needs.

TRUSS UK perfectly compliment the range of Hoist UK equipment with their own in house design, CAD & Manufacturing facilities, they can offer the full package: Design, structural analysis, quality manufacturing & fabrication. We are able to fabricate and profile steel, stainless steel & Aluminium products

Tony Dickson Director of Hoist UK & Truss UK Comments “Our new Moreton facility consists of ample office space for an ever growing sales / admin team, substantial customer meeting areas, plus extensive warehousing with a lifting equipment testing bay, that should support the company’s ambitious plans for at least the next 5 years”. The facility will be officially opened by The Mayor of Wirral, Les Rowlands on Friday 6th November together with the Hoist UK / Truss UK team.

From the 3rd August 2015, the new contact details will be:

Hoist UK Ltd / Truss UK Ltd

21 Tarran Way North,

Moreton,

Wirral,

CH46 4UA

 Tel:         +44 (0) 151 334 7682

Fax:        +44 (0) 151 334 9373

Their e-mail and website remains unchanged as:

E-mail:    sales@hoistuk.com

Web:       www.hoistuk.com

Remember: Safety Above All

Pallet Trucks now covered under LOLER

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Tractel Pallet Trucks

Did you know that under the new LOLER Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) that your pallet trucks now come under LOLER, so will need to undergo a thorough examination by a competent person at least every 12 months ?

If you want to download a free copy of the LOLER ACOP published in December 2014: click here

Contact Hoist UK for all your supply and inspection needs and remember: Safety Above All

Should your entertainment chain hoists be PAT tested ?

Friday, December 5th, 2014

A request from one of our customers sparked a debate in the office, so here are the thoughts of our Tony Dickson, for further discussion:

“Well, this is a very interesting question that has been asked, and in fact there is not a simple yes or no answer and there is no formal written indications for this subject.

As far as I am aware there are no current laws, regulations or legislation that requires you to have any piece of equipment PAT tested, whether that be your laptop, your kettle or your chain hoist, as for claims that PAT testing is required by law, this is simply not true. There are recommendations for frequency of PAT testing and the intervals vary depending upon usage, location and type of equipment between 3 monthly to every 48 months but again not a legal requirement.

There are other regulations to consider when looking at electrical safety of a machine though, which are but not limited to Health and safety at Work Act, The Electricity at Work Regulations,  The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, to name the main contenders. All of which impose a duty of care upon employers to protect their employees and members of the public that come into contact with appliances, and so if your staff, persons that are using your equipment (on hire) or members of the public are injured through badly maintained electrical equipment, then you will be held responsible; by you I mean the owner of the piece of equipment, whether the owner knows or even understands that the equipment was unsafe – ignorance of the law is no defence – the owner may obviously seek other defence in that he has hired a competent person to complete this for him ……..

PAT testing itself is a very grey area even for the professional PAT tester, the term PAT testing actually means “Portable Appliance Testing” and was originally intended for single phase equipment fitted with a 13A fused plug, indeed most PAT testing equipment is supplied with just this test cable and the PAT tester has to “adapt” the test for other single phase equipment fitted with other types of plugs, 110V single phase and of course for 3 phase equipment.

“Portable Equipment” is defined as an appliance of less than 18kg in mass that is intended to be moved whilst in operation or an appliance which can be easily be moved whilst in operation or an appliance which can easily be moved from one place to another. Portable equipment is designed to be carried or moved from place to place between periods of use and the power connection will be made by a “flexible cord” which will terminate in a plug for connection to the fixed power supply.

Whilst a chain hoist is used in different locations there are few that could be described as portable within this definition.

So, let’s look at what is actually done when completing a PAT test on Class 1 equipment – Class 1 equipment is any appliance that requires their chassis to be earth bonded (most chain hoists you would have thought);

Before any actual electrical testing is completed some physical checks need to be performed:

  • Inspection of the plug. Normally a 13A 3 pin, single phase plug, requiring the inspector to remove the plug top and inspect the wiring, connections, fuse rating and cord grip, the inspector would then look for signs of physical damage, signs of overheating like burn marks or discolouration on the pins or terminals. I would suggest that this should be completed during a normal LOLER or PUWER inspection of any piece of electrical lifting equipment to whatever type of connector is fitted.
  • The cable should now be checked for signs of damage (insulation cut or ripped), correct anchorage (via a clamp in the plug and via a cable entry gland to the hoist which should also be provided with a clamping arrangement) and suitability of the cable itself (is it the correct cross sectional area, is it the correct type of cable). I would suggest that this should be completed during a normal LOLER or PUWER inspection of any piece of electrical lifting equipment.
  • The appliance itself would then be checked for any signs of physical damage or overheating (burn marks or discoloration). I would suggest that this should be completed during a normal LOLER or PUWER inspection of any piece of electrical lifting equipment.

Then a series of In-service tests would be performed. Typically they would be as follows:

  • Earth Continuity, a definite requirement on Class 1 equipment. I would suggest that this should be completed during a normal LOLER or PUWER inspection of any piece of electrical lifting equipment, and even go so far as to say that this is a basic protective instinct for any engineer prior to connection of any unfamiliar electrical device.
  • Insulation resistance test. Not necessarily completed during a normal LOLER inspection of any piece of electrical lifting. Insulation testing tests the integrity of the insulation around and between the copper conductors in a cable and does require specialist equipment.
  • Polarity testing on the appliance chord would be carried out on single phase equipment (is Live the Live core, is Neutral the Neutral core, is Earth the Earth core?) and similar polarity tests for 3 phase cable in that the tester would check all three live cables are indeed the three phase cores in the lead. I would suggest that this should be completed during a normal LOLER or PUWER inspection of any piece of electrical lifting equipment again prior to connecting the equipment to a supply.
  • An appliance function test will be completed to ensure that the piece of equipment is operating and performing properly. I would suggest that this should be completed during a normal LOLER or PUWER inspection of any piece of electrical lifting equipment as this is a basic fundamental check.

In summary, employers are required to provide safe equipment, they are required to ensure that equipment is and remains safe for use, they are not required to PAT test. Chain hoists are portable when used in a touring application but can they really be considered to be a “portable appliance” in the true meaning of this test? – the original test was actually meant to protect workers using single phase equipment such as kettles, toasters drilling machines, vacuum cleaners, and the like that have 13A fused plugs on them not really for bulky 3 phase equipment –  Can you actually buy a three phase PAT tester ?

Apart from the insulation test, if a competent person completes the LOLER / PUWER thorough examination properly is there any additional benefit to PAT testing ?

The question is – would this argument stand up in a court of law in that would you, as the owner, user and tester of the equipment be considered to have done everything that is reasonably practical to ensure the safety of yourself and others ?

REMEMBER: Safety Above All

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.

Image 1 - LEEA Member Logo

“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: www.hoistuk.com or contact: info@hoistuk.com

Remember: Safety Above All

Hoist UK Welcomes Geoff Cromwell

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Lifting equipment specialists Hoist UK are continuing with their structured growth, this time expanding the engineering and installation side of the business,  Geoff Cromwell joins them as their new Lifting Equipment Engineer. Geoff brings with him over 40 years of experience within the lifting equipment industry, having being previously employed with Aabacas Cranes, Fellow Stringer, Pfaff Silberblau / PCM and most recently with LTM.

“Feeling part of a team is sometimes daunting when you start with a new company” says Hoist UK director Paul Jordan, “but Geoff has worked with some of the team before, he was at Aabacas with Wayne Ridgeley for six years and worked alongside Tony Dickson for ten years at Pfaff and PCM and I have known him for several years myself, he has already fitted in and is a valued member of the Hoist UK team” he adds.

Geoff will be heading the engineering team, responsible for the general day to day running of the workshop, as well as on site installations & LOLER inspections. Tony Dickson Comments ‘I Have known Geoff for over 15 years and it is great to be working with him again, Geoff’s experience and work ethic are admirable, we are lucky to have him on board and he adds depth to our already formidable team.”

Image 1 - Geoff Cromwell

Geoff Cromwell comments “I am excited to start a new challenge with Hoist UK and look forward to working with Tony and Wayne again. It’s good to be getting involved with all aspects of the lifting game and being involved with projects right from start to finish. Some of the projects I have seen already are innovative and cover the full range of industries; it’s just a great place to work and great people to work with”.

Louise Dickson, General Manager of Hoist UK adds: “Geoff’s previous experience and qualifications, including his four LEEA qualifications, are a great asset to Hoist UK and further the companies and my own personalcommitment towards training our staff to the highest possible level, which results in our offering customers an unrivalled service; we pride ourselves on supplying and installing technically correct and safe products.”

For further information visit: www.hoistuk.com or contact: info@hoistuk.com

Remember: Safety Above All

Hoist UK Appoint General Manager

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Hoist UK are proud to announce that Louise Dickson has been appointed General Manager of the company.

Hoist UK director, Paul Jordan comments: “Louise has been with the company for over 6 years now; we recognised her potential almost immediately and we have guided her progress through the company letting her gain a thorough knowledge of the company 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 as General Manager for Hoist UK” adds Paul Jordan.

Image 1 - Louise Dickson

Louise Dickson comments: “I am excited to take on this new role as General Manager; I feel I have now gained the necessary skills and have great mentors in Paul and Tony. I have been with Hoist UK for almost as long as it has been trading, I have seen the company develop greatly since I started, and I look forward to growing it further in the future”.

“Louise takes everything we throw at her in her stride; since starting she has worked in all departments and shown an aptitude for all of them. As well as covering all of the office disciplines Louise has worked in the workshop, is a dab hand at packing, she is our stand by FLT driver and is the driving force in having all our staff completing the full spectrum of LEEA qualifications. She really does lead by example” adds Hoist UK director Tony Dickson.

Hoist UK are a supplier and manufacturer of lifting & rigging equipment in the UK. They pride themselves on the supply and installation of technically correct products, and work within a number of specialist industries from ISO rated Clean rooms & ATEX Cranes to performer flying equipment.

For further information visit: www.hoistuk.com or contact: info@hoistuk.com

Remember: Safety Above All

Hoist UK Welcome New Starter to Their Technical Team

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Hoist UK are proud to announce and welcome Wayne Ridgeley to their technical team as Design / Project Engineer. Wayne has been in the lifting industry all of his working life, having been previously employed by Aabacus Cranes, The Rossendale Group, Camlok and more recently with Stahl Cranes working predominantly within the explosion proof (ATEX) equipment sector of the industry. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience of standard & specialised lifting equipment, which Hoist UK feel will be a major asset to the company’s growth and development.

Hoist UK director, Paul Jordan comments: “Having Wayne join our team is a major asset for the company, as it is always difficult to employ a high quality design engineer with a proven track record in the industry”. Paul Jordan adds: “Wayne has a vast knowledge of standard lifting equipment, but his knowledge within the specialised cranes and lifting equipment sector will be a real advantage to us as the company grows, and especially assisting with specialist projects that we are working on”.

Wayne Ridgeley comments: “The chance to work with Paul again is great, and Hoist UK is certainly a company whose technical expertise and approach to project based work interests me. They are working with a range of crane and hoist systems within various industries, ranging from ISO rated clean room systems to performer flying systems in the entertainment industry”. Wayne Ridgeley adds: “I am keen to be part of this exciting company’s growth and feel that my experience with the explosion proof sector and general industry will be a real advantage to Hoist UK”.

 

Image 1 - Wayne Ridgeley

For further information visit: www.hoistuk.com or contact: info@hoistuk.com

Remember: Safety Above All

Hoist UK Achieves ISO 9001 Certification

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Hoist UK have been assessed and registered against the provisions of BS EN ISO 9001: 2008 in relation to the highest quality manufacturing systems and procedures for the design, manufacture, supply, installation, servicing and testing of industrial, entertainment and educational lifting equipment.

The certification was achieved from months of hard work by the Hoist UK staff to update and improve their quality management system with external auditing provided by NQA, who are a UKAS accredited certification body, ensuring that their systems operate to the very highest standard and fully meets the requirements of the standard.

Hoist UK director, Paul Jordan comments: “A good working relationship with our customers and keeping control of the quality of our products are vital in maintaining our success, and also gives our customers real value for money through continuous improvements to our products and business procedures. I’m very happy with all of the improvements we’ve made, and without the hard work and cooperation of our staff this wouldn’t have been possible.”

Hoist UK are committed to quality and continuous improvement of their products and services, and are now working towards ISO14001 certification which is anticipated in the first quarter of 2014.

Remember: Safety Above All

Basic CMYK

Hoist UK Offer FREE Stagemaker Motor School

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

To coincide with the release of the Stagemaker SR Electric Chain Hoist from Verlinde; Hoist UK are offering FREE motor school’s to all UK based customers.

The course is fully authorised and approved by Verlinde SAS and will take place over one full day at Hoist UK’s premises on the Wirral. The course will be presented by Tony Dickson, who is a Director of Hoist UK and in his past presented over 90% of the UK motor schools for Tomcat UK and PCM.

TD Training

The course will give the delegate a basic understanding of the hoist mechanics and electrics as well as demonstrating how to operate the unit safely. There will also be a ‘practical session’ where you will get a real “hands on” experience with the Stagemaker SR, participate in fault finding tasks and receive guidance on how to identify spare parts.

“We feel that our clients deserve to be given the time to thoroughly understand our products and services” says Tony Dickson, Director of Hoist UK Ltd. “With the launch of a new hoist, the course will allow them to get a working knowledge the product, and build confidence when they are specifying, or buying” he adds.

Fellow Director Paul Jordan says “We are very excited about the launch of the Stagemaker SR, and feel that by offering this free course that it will not only demonstrate how easy this hoist is to use, but how quick and efficient the maintenance really is”.

“After several years of successful collaboration with Hoist UK, and the excellent reputation and technical background of Tony Dickson in entertainment sector, it was an obvious decision for Verlinde to choose Hoist UK to develop and deliver the training in the UK” says Verlinde Marketing Manager Jean-Yves Beaussart. “The STAGEMAKER SR lends itself well for use in all types of venues (for inverted or upright configuration) and offers the highest levels of manufacture and safety” he adds.

The high reliability of the STAGEMAKER hoist is unquestionably proven by the tens of thousands of models already in use around the world, the STAGEMAKER SR model is innovative in its simple design and approach to easy maintenance.

“It is the only model on the market that is equipped as standard with a double lifting brake, custom CHAINFlux® chain guide, patented Perfect Push® load wheel, retractable handgrips and rubber bumpers, but you will learn more about that in the course” says Dickson.

All motor school bookings will be scheduled through Louise Dickson at their offices, but Hoist UK are offering a virtually open invitation to all their industry colleagues and the course is suitable for all; hardened industry professionals, people new to the industry and students alike.

For more information on training courses and dates or to arrange a visit please contact our training team on:  training@hoistuk.com or +44 (0)151 334 7682.

For further information visit: www.hoistuk.com or contact: info@hoistuk.com Remember: Safety Above All