Lifting equipment is subjected to two fundamental certifications with one certification being related to engineering authorisation on the equipment capacity and the other referring to the ongoing certification that is based on annual visual inspections. Although, government across the UK enforce the use of certified lifting equipment and require employers to provide appropriate training to their staff to promote safe use of equipment, we may still come across equipment that is either not engineered or has not been documented/certified in an appropriate manner.

The primary reason why you should use certified lifting equipment is that you are legally bound to do so. In the UK, the use of lifting equipment is governed by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) which requires all lifting devices to bear the professional seal and to be certified by an engineer in writing. This document should clearly indicate the capacity of the equipment by providing relevant descriptions of the loading conditions and rating information. Additionally, the law requires manufacturers to hire a non-destructive testing (NDT) engineer to undertake a documented inspection every so often.

When you use a certified lifting device, you can work with peace of mind knowing that you and others in the worksite will be safe. A certified device indicates that it has been verified to be structurally appropriate for a particular work condition or load capacity. Additionally, inspections at regular intervals ensure efficient equipment upkeep and operational safety. When an engineer certifies a device, he guarantees that the equipment has been inspected and has been found to be safe for regular use. The documentations help the employees to use the device in the recommended manner.

In some cases, an engineer may be required to conduct a quality control assessment of the manufacturing process. Generally, the engineer will specify a set of fabrication codes that the manufacturer will follow throughout the equipment construction process. Such codes are meant to enforce a high quality standard throughout the manufacturing process. Additionally, such standards require employers to engage qualified welders to undertake qualified welding procedures. Sometimes, a quality control program may be paired with an ISO9001 or a similar program to implement a few more quality control features such as material tractability. The overall objective of undertaking such initiatives is to create defect-free products that can have a long life.

When employers use certified lifting devices, they demonstrate an act of responsibility. All stakeholders know that the employer practises due diligence to make the workplace safer for all. When you use a certified lifting device, the liability concerning equipment safety gets shared between your operator and the engineer who provides the certification. The engineer needs to ensure that the device is safe while the operator needs to promote safe equipment use. So the only thing that the employer needs to worry about is the liability that he may have to incur for incidents that may occur due to equipment misuse.

Check if your existing lifting devices have proper documentation detailing the original engineering performed on them. Organise an annual inspection and ask your inspector to do a code review. If you find the base level engineering to be absent, you can either get it replaced or reverse engineered. Reverse engineering may prove to be costly for mass-produced products and there are chances that you may fail to comply with the codes. On the other hand, you may find reverse engineering to be a feasible option if you want it to be applied on big, specialised products.

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