1.1.7 Lifting equipment

An overhead hoist is a machine used for vertical lifting of material (not people) that is freely suspended (unguided).

A manually lever operated hoist is a device used to lift, lower, or pull a load (not people), and to apply or release tension to items.

Hoists can provide lifting and lowering motions in an overhead material handling system. When a hoist is mounted to a trolley on a fixed monorail, two directions of load motion are available: forward or reverse, up or down. When the hoist is mounted on a crane, three directions of load motion are available: right or left, forward or reverse, up or down. These systems can achieve straight-line moves, reduce material damage, reduce noise, minimize energy cost, reduce floor-based traffic, improve worker ergonomics, and accomplish other operational objectives.

Usually, a hoist is not a piece of stationary hardware. It is generally available for use whenever required and rarely requires a full time operator. Hoists can be integrated into a variety of automated handling systems.

In an overhead material handling system, hoists provide vertical movement of below-the-hook load supporting and positioning devices.

In any material handling system, the hoist is used to accurately position a load.

The majority of hoists used are classified as Standard or “packaged hoists”, typically defined as largely self-contained units, prepared to be installed on existing structures.

They are selected and installed into an application, often as part of a system. These systems vary greatly from simple, manually controlled systems to complex integrated and automated systems involving sophisticated components and controls. Hoists can be powered manually, with air, hydraulics, or electricity. Trolley selection is dictated by system requirements.

Types of Overhead Hoists

These hoists are defined by:

  • Mounting Type – There are eight suspension/mounting methods for overhead hoists:
    • Hook Mounted
    • Clevis Mounted
    • Lug Mounted
    • Trolley Mounted
    • Deck Mounted
    • Base Mounted
    • Wall Mounted
    • Ceiling Mounted
  • Lifting Medium – Four types of lifting medium for overhead hoists:
    • Welded link chain
    • Roller load chain
    • Wire rope
    • Synthetic web or rope material
  • Power Application – Three methods of applying power for overhead hoists:
    • Manually by hand chain
    • Electric power
    • Air power

Operational Considerations

Hoist operators should be trained in the proper use of all hoisting equipment. Many accidents occur because operators simply do not know that they are doing something dangerous. Refer to the manufacturer’s parts, maintenance and operating documents. ASME B30.16 deals with equipment and the workplace safety issues, which apply to all overhead hoists that lift freely suspended unguided loads.

Lifting Considerations

Manually Operated Hoists

These manually lever operated hoists are defined by four types of lifting media:

  • Roller load chain
  • Welded link chain
  • Wire rope
  • Web strap

Legal Aspects

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT, 1993

 CONSTRUCTION REGULATIONS, 2003

Material hoists

17.(1) A contractor shall ensure that every material hoist and its tower have been constructed of sound material in accordance with the generally accepted technical standards and are strong enough and free from defects.

(2)  A contractor shall cause the tower of every material hoist to be¾

(a)__ erected on firm foundations and secured to the structure or braced by steel wire guy ropes and to extend to such a distance above the highest landing as to allow a clear and unobstructed space of at least 900 mm for overtravel;

(b)__ enclosed on all sides at the bottom, and at all floors where persons are at risk of being struck by moving parts of the hoist, except on the side or sides giving access to the material hoist, with walls or other effective means to a height of at least 2100 mm from the ground or floor level; and

(c)__ provided with a door or gate at least 2100 mm in height at each landing and such door or gate shall be kept closed, except when the platform  is at rest at such a landing.

(3)  A contractor shall cause¾

(a)__ the platform of every material hoist to be designed in such a manner that it shall safely contain the loads being conveyed and that the combined weight of the platform and the load does not exceed the designed lifting capacity of the hoist;

(b)__ the hoisting rope of every material hoist which has a remote winch to be effectively protected from damage by any external cause to the portion of the hoisting rope between the winch and the tower of the hoist; and

(c)__ every material hoist to be provided with an efficient brake capable of holding the platform with its maximum load in any position when the power is not being supplied to the hoisting machinery.

(4)  No contractor shall require or permit trucks, barrows or material to be conveyed on the platform of a material hoist and no person shall so convey trucks, barrows or material unless such articles are so secured or contained in such a manner that displacement thereof cannot take place during movement.

(5)  A contractor shall cause a notice, indicating the maximum mass load which may be carried at any one time and the prohibition of persons from riding on the platform of the material hoist, to be affixed around the base of the tower and at each landing.

(6)  A contractor of a material hoist shall not require or permit any person to operate such a hoist, unless the person is competent in the operation thereof.

(7)  No contractor shall require or permit any person to ride on a material hoist.

(8)  A contractor shall cause every material hoist¾

(a)      to be inspected on a daily basis by a competent person who has been appointed in writing and has the experience pertaining to the erection and maintenance of material hoists or similar machinery.

(b)___ inspection contemplated in paragraph (a), to include the determination of the serviceability of the entire material hoist including guides, ropes and their connections, drums, sheaves or pulleys and all safety devices.

(c)___ inspection result to be entered and signed in a record book which shall be kept on the premises for that purpose.

(d)___ to be properly maintained and that the maintenance records in this regard are kept on site.

Cranes

20. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Driven Machinery Regulations promulgated by Government Notice No.R.295 of 26 February 1988, as amended, a contractor shall ensure that where tower cranes are used¾

(a)   account is taken of the effects of wind forces on the structure;

(b)____ account is taken of the bearing capacity of the ground on which the tower crane is to stand;

(c)____ the bases for the tower cranes and tracks for rail-mounted tower cranes are firm and level;

(d)____ the tower cranes are erected at a safe distance from excavations;

(e)____ there is sufficient clear space available for erection, operation and dismantling;

(f)____ the tower crane operators are competent to carry out the work safely; and

(g)____ the tower crane operators are physically and psychologically fit to work in such an environment by being in possession of a medical certificate of fitness.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR

17. Transportation plants. ─  (1)  No user shall use or permit the use of a transportation plant unless ─

(a)      it complies with a safety standard with respect to the design, construction, installation, operation and inspection thereof incorporated for this purpose into these regulations under section 44 of the Act; and

(b)      he is in possession of written authorization for the use thereof from an inspector.

   (2)   Any person who wishes to use a transportation plant shall apply in writing to the provincial executive manager for permission for such use and shall, together with such application, submit –

(a)      a complete set of design calculations and drawings of the proposed installation; and

(b)      a certificate issued by a registered professional engineer in which he certifies that he has checked the design of the installation and that such design will ensure the safe operation of the installation under all permitted loadings.

   (3)   An inspector may, if he is satisfied that the provisions of this regulation have been complied with and that the transportation plant can be safely used, grant permission in writing for the use thereof, subject to such conditions as he may determine.

   (4)   An inspector may withdraw the permission granted in terms of subregulation (3) if he deems this necessary in the interest of safety.

   (5)   The user shall cause the whole installation and all working parts of the transportation plant to be thoroughly examined and subjected to a performance test as prescribed by the standard to which the transportation plant was manufactured, by a person who has knowledge and experience of the erection and maintenance of transportation plants or similar machinery and who shall determine the serviceability of the structures, ropes, machinery and safety devices, before they are put into use following every time they are erected and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 12 months: Provided that in the absence of such prescribed performance test the whole installation of the transportation plant shall be subjected to a load of 120 % of the rated mass load, applied over the complete operation range of such plant and in such a manner that every part of the installation is stressed accordingly.

   (6)   Notwithstanding the provisions of subregulation (5), the user shall cause every hoisting rope and every hook or other load-attaching device which forms part of the transportation plant to be thoroughly examined by a person contemplated in subregulation (5) at intervals not exceeding six months.

   (7)   The user shall cause the results of the examinations and tests prescribed in subregulations (5) and (6) to be entered and signed by the person carrying out such examinations and tests, in a record book which shall be kept on the premises at all times.

18.  Lifting machines and lifting tackle ─ (1) No user shall use or permit the use of a lifting machine unless
(a)      it has been designed and constructed in accordance with a generally accepted technical standard;

(b)      it is conspicuously and clearly marked with the maximum mass load which it is designed to carry with safety: Provided that when this mass load varies with the conditions of use a table showing the maximum mass load with respect to every variable condition shall be posted up by the user in a conspicuous place easily visible to the operator; and

c)       it has at all times at least three full turns of rope on the drum of each winch which forms part of such a machine when such a winch has been run to its lowest limit, and which is controlled by automatic cut-out device. This subregulation(19.1.C) does not apply to Capstan type winches.

   (2)   The user shall, ensure that every power-driven lifting machine is fitted with
(a)      a brake or other device capable of holding the maximum mass load should the power supply fail, or

which is such that it will automatically prevent the uncontrolled downward movement of the load when the raising or lowering effort is interrupted; and    

(b)      a limiting device that it will cause the driving effort to be automatically arrested when

(i)       the hook or load attachment point of the power-driven lifting machine reaches its highest and lowest safe position; and

(ii)      the load condition is greater than the rated load condition of such machine.

   (3)   the user shall cause every chain or rope in the load path of a lifting machine to have a factor of safety as prescribed by the standard to which such machine was manufactured: Provided that in the absence of such prescribed factor of safety, chains, steel-wire ropes and fibre ropes shall have a factor of safety of at least four, five and ten respectively, with respect to the rated carrying capacity of the lifting machine.

   (4)   The user shall cause every hook or any other load-attaching
device which is the load path of a lifting machine to prevent accidental disconnection of the
load under working conditions cannot take place.

(5)   (a) The user shall cause the whole installation and all working parts of every lifting machine as well as ancillary lifting equipment used with the machine, excluding lifting tackle,  to be thoroughly examined and subjected to a performance test, as prescribed by the standard to which the lifting machine was manufactured, by a registered Lifting Machinery Inspector appointed by a registered Lifting Machinery Entity who has knowledge of the erection and maintenance of the type of lifting machine involved or similar machinery and who shall determine the serviceability of the structures, ropes, machinery and safety devices, before they are put into use following every time they are dismantled and re-erected, and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 12 months: Provided that in the absence of such prescribed performance test the whole installation of the lifting machine shall be tested with 110 percent of the rated mass load, applied over the complete lifting range of such machine and in such a manner that every part of the installation is stressed accordingly.
(b)      Notwithstanding the provisions of sub regulation 5 (a), mobile cranes are excluded from the

          performance test after each re-deployment.

(c)      No user shall use or permit the use of temporary suspended access platform installation unless it complies with a safety standard with respect to its construction, installation, operation and inspection incorporated for this purpose into these regulations under section 44 of the Act.

   (6)   Notwithstanding the provisions of sub regulation (5), the user shall cause all ropes, chains, hooks or other attaching devices, sheaves, brakes and safety devices forming an integral part of a lifting machine to be
thoroughly examined by a person who has a knowledge and experience of the erection and maintenance of the type of lifting machine involved or similar machinery at intervals not exceeding six months.

   (7)   Every user of a lifting machine shall at all times keep on his premises a register for a period of ten years in which he shall record or cause to be recorded full particulars of any performance test and examination prescribed by sub regulations (5) and (6) and any modification or repair to the lifting machine, and shall ensure that the register is available on request for inspection by an inspector.

   (8)   No user of machinery shall require or permit any person to be moved or supported by means of a lifting
machine, unless such machine is fitted with a man-cage designed and fabricated according to an approved SANS standard and a risk assessment has been done.
   (9)   No user shall use or permit any person to use any power driven lifting machine unless it is provided

with                                                                                                

(a)      a load indicator which will indicate to the operator of the power driven lifting machine, with a lifting capacity of greater than 5000kg of the mass of the load being lifted: Provided that such a device shall not require manual adjustment, from application of the load to the power driven lifting machine until the release of
that load, using any motion or combination of motions permitted by the crane manufacturer to ensure safe lifting; power driven lifting machines manufactured or refurbished prior to the publication of these regulations shall be deemed to comply with these regulations and or

(b)      a load limiting device which will automatically arrest the driving effort whenever the load being lifted is greater than the rated mass load of the power driven lifting machine, at that particular radius, using any motion or combination of motions permitted by the crane manufacturer to ensure safe lifting: Provided that such a device shall not arrest the driving effort when the power driven lifting machine is being operated into a safer condition.

   (10)   No user shall use or allow the use of any lifting tackle or lifting device unless the following conditions are complied with, namely that

(a)      every item of lifting tackle is well constructed of sound material, is strong enough and is free from latent defects and is in general constructed in accordance with a generally accepted technical standard;

(b)      every lifting assembly consisting of different items of lifting tackle is conspicuously and clearly marked with identification particulars and the maximum mass load which it is designed to lift with safety;

(c)      lifting tackle have a factor of safety with respect to the maximum mass load they are designed to lift with safety according to the incorporated SANS standards;

(d)      steel-wire ropes are discarded and not used again for lifting purposes if the rope shows signs of excessive wear, too many broken wires, corrosion or other defects that have made its use in any way dangerous, as per incorporated SANS standard;

(e)      such lifting tackle is examined at intervals not exceeding three months by a  person, appointed for this purpose, who by virtue of his training and experience of lifting tackle, shall record and sign results of such examination;

(f)      such lifting tackle is stored or protected so as to prevent damage or deterioration when not in use.

   (11)   The user shall ensure that every lifting machine as listed in the National Code of Practice is operated by an operator specifically trained for a particular type of lifting machine. The user shall not require or permit any person to operate such a lifting machine unless the operator is in possession of a certificate of training, issued by a person or organisation approved for this purpose by the Chief Inspector, this includes the commissioning of the lifting machine.

Lifting Equipment

Lifting equipment differs from hoisting equipment in that it is often used to transport passengers. Types of lifting equipment include:

  • Elevators with traction drive
  • Hydraulic elevators
  • Lift platforms
  • Escalators
  • Moving walks
  • Facade washing systems
  • Parking systems
  • Staircase lifts

Legal Considerations pertaining to Lifting Equipment

The Driven Machinery Regulations, 2015, under section 45 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993, include the following regulations with regard to lifting equipment:

Lifting machines, hand -powered lifting devices and lifting tackle 18.(1) No user may use or permit the use of a lifting machine or hand- powered lifting device unless – (a) it has been designed and constructed in accordance with a generally accepted technical standard; (b) it is conspicuously and clearly marked with the safe working load: provided that when such safe working load varies with the conditions of use of the manufacturer, a table showing the safe working load with regard to every variable condition shall be posted by the user in a conspicuous place easily visible to the operator; (c) the manufacturer’s identification plate displaying the name of the manufacturer, the design standard, the serial or reference number and the country of origin is affixed to such machine; and (d) it has at all times at least three full turns of rope on the drum of each winch that forms part of such a machine when such winch has been run to its lowest limit, and that is controlled by an automatic cut -out device: provided that paragraphs (b) and (d) above shall not apply to capstan -type hoists. (2) The user shall ensure that every power- driven lifting machine is fitted with a brake or other device capable of holding the safe working load should – (a) the power supply or lifting effort fail; (b) the load attachment point of the power- driven lifting machine reach its highest and lowest safe position; or (c) the load condition be greater than the rated load condition of that machine. (3) The user shall cause every chain or rope that forms part of the load path of a lifting machine or hand -powered lifting device to have the factor of safety prescribed by the standard to which that machine was manufactured: provided that in the absence of such prescribed factor of safety, chains, steel -wire ropes and fibre ropes shall have a factor of safety of at least four, five and 10, respectively, with regard to the safe working load of that machine. (4) The user shall cause every hook or any other load- attaching device that forms part of the load path of a lifting machine or hand -powered lifting device to be so designed or proportioned that accidental disconnection of the load under working conditions cannot take place. (5) (a) The user shall cause the entire installation and all working parts of every lifting machine or hand -powered lifting device, as well as ancillary lifting equipment used with the machine or device, excluding lifting tackle, to be subjected to a thorough examination and a performance test, as prescribed by the standard to which the lifting machine was manufactured, by a lifting machinery inspector of a lifting machinery entity, which shall determine the serviceability of the structures, ropes, machinery and safety devices before they are put into use and every time they are dismantled and re- erected, and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 12 months: provided that, in the absence of a manufacturing standard or a standard incorporated under section 44(1) of the Act, the whole installation of the lifting machine shall be tested with 110% of the safe working load applied over the complete lifting range of such machine and in such a manner that every part of the installation is stressed accordingly. (b) The lifting machinery inspector of the lifting machinery entity referred to in paragraph (a) must have knowledge of the erection, load- testing and maintenance of the type of lifting machine or similar machinery involved. (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), mobile cranes, self -erecting cranes and mobile elevated work platforms shall be excluded from the performance test after each re- deployment within the 12 -month period referred to in that paragraph. (6) Notwithstanding subregulation (5), the user shall cause all ropes, chains, hooks or other attaching devices, sheaves, brakes and safety devices forming an integral part of a lifting machine or hand -powered lifting device to be subjected to a thorough examination by a competent person at intervals not exceeding six months. (7) (a) Every user of a lifting machine or hand -powered lifting device shall at all times keep on their premises a register in which the user shall record or cause to be recorded full particulars of any performance test and examination referred to in subregulations (5) and (6) and any modification or repair to such lifting machine or hand -powered lifting device, and shall ensure that the register is available on request for inspection by an inspector. (b) Every user of a leased lifting machine or hand -powered lifting device shall at all times keep on their premises a register in which the user shall have the latest applicable performance test and service records not older than 12 months. (c) The owner and the lessor of leased equipment shall keep and maintain full service history records on their premises for at least 10 years. (8) No user shall require or permit any person to be moved or supported by means of a lifting machine unless that machine is fitted with a man -cage designed and manufactured according to an approved SANS standard approved for that purpose by an inspector and after a risk assessment has been done. (9) No user shall use or permit any person to use any power- driven lifting machine unless it is provided with – (a) in the case of a power- driven lifting machine with a lifting capacity of greater than 5 000 kg, a load indicator capable of indicating to the operator of the machine the mass of the load being lifted: provided that such device shall not require manual adjustment, from the application of the load to the power- driven lifting machine until the release of that load, using any motion or combination of motions permitted by the crane manufacturer to ensure safe lifting; and /or (b) a load- limiting device that will automatically arrest the driving effort whenever the load being lifted is greater than the safe working load of the power- driven lifting machine at that particular radius, using any motion or combination of motions permitted by the crane manufacturer to ensure safe lifting: provided that such device shall not arrest the driving effort when the power- driven lifting machine is being operated into a safer position: provided that power- driven lifting machines manufactured or refurbished prior to the commencement of these Regulations shall be deemed to comply with these Regulations. (10) No user may use or allow the use of any lifting tackle unless – (a) every item of lifting tackle is well constructed of sound material, is strong enough, is free from defects and is constructed in accordance with a generally accepted technical standard; (b) every lifting assembly consisting of different items of lifting tackle is conspicuously and clearly marked with traceable identification particulars and the safe working load that it is designed to lift with safety; (c) the ropes, chains or woven webbing have a factor of safety with respect to the safe working load they are designed to lift; the safety factor being (i) 10 for natural -fibre ropes; (ii) seven for man -made fibre ropes or woven webbing; (iii) six for steel -wire ropes, except for double -part spliced endless sling legs and double -part endless grommet sling legs made from steel -wire rope, in which case the factor of safety shall be at least eight; (iv) five for steel chains; and (v) four for high -tensile or alloy steel chains: provided that when the load is equally shared by two or more ropes or chains the factor of safety may be calculated in accordance with the sum of the breaking strengths taking into consideration the angle of loading; (d) all lifting tackle is inspected and discarded if such items show any sign of damage, defect, wear or distortion that would make them unsafe for use, as per manufacturer’s specification; and (e) such lifting tackle is examined at intervals not exceeding three months by a competent person, appointed by the user in writing for this purpose, who shall record and sign results of such examination. (11) The user shall ensure that every lifting machine is operated by an operator specifically trained for that particular type of lifting machine: provided that in the case of a lifting machine listed in the National Code of Practice for Training Providers of Lifting Machine Operators, the user shall not require or permit any person to operate such a lifting machine unless the operator is in possession of a certificate of training, issued by a training provider accredited by the Transport Seta approved for the purpose by the chief inspector. Approval and registration of lifting machinery entity 19.(1) The chief inspector may approve any legal entity that has the competency and operational ability and that is involved in the examination and performance- testing of lifting machines, hand -powered lifting devices and ancillary lifting equipment usedwith the machine or devices. (2) An application for approval and registration as a lifting machinery entity shall be made to the chief inspector in the form of Annexure A. (3) The chief inspector shall furnish an approved lifting machinery entity with the appropriate certificate of registration and shall enter such registration into the national database. (4) An approved lifting machinery entity shall on request produce a certificate of registration to an inspector or to any person to whom it intends to render an examination or performance test. (5) An approved lifting machinery entity shall inform the chief inspector of any change affecting its approval and registration under these Regulations within 14 days of such change.  

One should not lose sight of the role of Safety Practitioners when reading this material. Safety Practitioners are specialist workers, focusing on risks, hazards and threats which may influence the lives and well-being of workers.

As more and more detail is shared, it should be obvious that Safety tasks require the efforts of teams of specialists working with the safety practitioners.