The Insider Article – Certified Lifting Equipment
By Ashley Thacker
You can’t just put a sticker on an item of lifting or rigging equipment and call it certified. But there are things that you can do to meet the required standards. There are also a couple of different standards that you should be looking at.
We’ve seen all kinds of equipment submitted for certification, from homemade horror stories to products that went on to pass a proof-load or engineering analysis test, no problem. The trouble with makeshift-style products is that they’re just that, and no standards have been taken into account during design or manufacture. Safety factors have been disregarded and the stringent design criteria that should have been adhered to were overlooked. Sometimes standards are followed but if they were only relevant overseas, it doesn’t make the product certified here in Australia (we’ll come back to this).
Makeshift products are rarely drawn up using state-of-the-art computer-aided design (CAD) nor have they been put through a finite analysis programme to see if they would hold up to the task, and to identify the stress or failure points. The welding is usually poor, but even if the welding is done by a qualified and ticketed welder, the welds are rarely checked by way of non-destructive testing. In many examples, we’ve noticed paint has been used to cover over problems. Makeshift products are often unmarked as well.
Consider the risks posed by such equipment, to both the users and manufacturers or suppliers. At the point of use, it goes without saying that the products are unsafe, whether they are used internally in a workshop or warehouse, or out onsite where subcontractors, pedestrians, workers and others might all be placed in danger. If the piece of equipment is lifting or moving a product, then whatever is being lifted is also at risk. A $50k piece of marble or custom-made glass being lifted by an uncertified and unchecked A-frame, is an expensive disaster waiting to happen. Then there are the risks to the supplier that will be culpable.
We will look at Australian Standard AS 4991 Lifting Devices, as that is commonly applied here, for obvious reasons. However, as we’ll examine first, International Standard ISO 17096: Cranes — Safety — Load lifting attachments is more current and is actually our go-to document when we’re looking at certifying lifting equipment.
ISO 17096 says for single unit designed and produced products, type verification and individual verification shall be done. For series produced, product type verification shall be done on one or more representative products of the series and the individual verification shall be done on each product produced.
How to get equipment certified… END OF PREVIEW.