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INSPECTIONS

Who is responsible for your crane inspections?

So who is responsible for your annual assessment, load test and thorough examination of your lifting machine? According to the occupational health and safety act of 1993 under the definition, it states, quote “user” about plant or machinery, means the person who uses plant or machinery for his benefit or who has the right of control over the use of plant or machinery, but does not include a lessor of, or any person employed in connection with, that plant or machinery” Therefore, it appears to be left up to the user to determine whether a lifting machinery inspector is not only certified but also knowledgeable and qualified to perform the task. The LMI may be ECSA certified and qualified to do one thing but not necessarily qualified for something else. For this particular example, we will use a mobile crane, however, this example applies to most if not all pieces of lifting equipment. The lifting machinery inspectors are responsible for cranes assessment, load test and thorough examination of the crane based 16

Lifting Africa - Nov/Dec 2020

on their knowledge, experience, manufacturer’s guidelines, regulations and standards applicable to the specific type of crane. All ECSA registered inspectors have limitations and the user needs to know what those limitations are to be able to determine whether the LMI fits the category of a knowledgeable and qualified person for a specific type of crane or lifting machine. For example, an LMI may be very capable and “qualified” to inspect certain types of small telescopic-boom cranes with fly jib attachments but may not have the knowledge or background experience to inspect a large 500ton telescopic boom crane with a super lift configuration. This also applies to lattice-boom cranes, particularly to friction type lattice cranes. Qualification to undertake the assessment, load test and undertake a thorough examination of all crane types takes many years of experience and training. Of course, when an accident

happens one of the first things the Department of Labour and insurance companies will look at is what procedures were in place and who the certified LMI and LME were. Bear in mind that when the user is contracting an LMI/LME, among other things he/she has to ask the right questions of the lifting machinery inspector as to satisfy himself that this is a knowledgeable and qualified LMI and provides the user with sufficient proof of experience. How can you check the LMI’s credentials? • Ask to see his/her ECSA and DoL certifications as well as their scope of work issued by the DoL. • Ask what type of cranes/lifting machines they have previously inspected • Ensure that the inspector knows the names of all parts of the crane. If not, this is a sign that the inspector is not very experienced. • Inquire about rejection criteria for crane specific components such as wire rope, sheaves, hooks etc. For

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