From cranes to vehicle lifts, from bath hoists to work platforms.

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) require examination by a competent person of lifting accessories and equipment every 6 or 12 months, depending on the equipment. 

The Thurra team can provide expert advice on exactly what needs to be inspected and when, in order to comply with current legislation and we keep track of everything to ensure you are reminded when inspections are due.

Lifting equipment and accessories that must be inspected includes:

Cranes

Including mobile cranes, lorry loader cranes, overhead travelling cranes and manual jib cranes.

Hoists

Including electric hoist blocks, chain blocks and wire rope blocks.

Garage equipment

Such as vehicle lifts, engine hoists and jacks.

Handling equipment

Including forklift trucks, reach trucks, side loaders, rough terrain trucks, tele-handlers, stacker trucks and pallet trucks.

Patient hoists

Including bath hoists.

Access equipment

Such as mobile elevated work platforms.

Lifting accessories

Including slings, shackles and eyebolts.

Lifting equipment inspection

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Find out how Thurra can help with your engineering inspection requirements.

Common defects of Lifting Equipment

Our Engineers are out in the field inspecting plant and equipment day in, day out. From this experience, we have compiled a series of reports of the most common defects they find, some tips on what you can do to stay safe in between inspections and simple preventative measures. Remember, some of these defects are not only inconvenient but may in some cases be fatal to operators or those in the vicinity.

The most common faults with dock levellers and the legislation you need to know about

There are 3 main pieces of legislation that need to be complied with when operating dock levelling systems, these are:
  1. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  2. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  3. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
Dock levellers – The 4 most common types are Hydraulic, Mechanical, Air Powered and Vertical. These are used to bridge the difference in height and distance between the warehouse floor and a vehicle. Significant dangers exist with this type of equipment including: Crushing, Shearing, High-pressure fluid ejection, Loss of stability, Slips, trips and falls. During operation cargo is constantly being transferred to and from arriving vehicles. If the dock leveller was to fail in operation, then the load that it was supporting would fall down to the rear of the vehicle causing potentially fatal injuries to the person operating a fork-lift truck or pallet truck. Regular examination is key to the prevention of such catastrophic incidents. The 5 most common defects and their potential effect are described below.
  1. Toe guard failure. In normal operation most dock levellers deploy a protective screen which prevents any one inadvertently placing their foot directly below a raised dock leveller. When the dock leveller is placed on to the loading area of a lorry, first it is raised, then the lip is deployed and finally the dock leveller is lowered. If the toe guard is not deployed or positioned correctly, there is a significant risk to the dock leveller operator who in many cases be stood next to the dock leveller as it is raised and lowered. The guillotine action of the dock leveller could cause significant injury to the operator or anyone who is stood near to the bed of the dock leveller as it descends.As part of the thorough examination,  the condition of the toe guards are assessed and any areas that need attention are brought to the notice of the owner / user in sufficient time to prevent an accident.
  2. Build-up of rubbish beneath the dock leveller. It is very common to see a build-up of rubbish beneath a dock leveller. This by its very nature is a fire hazard, and, in some cases can restrict the operation of the dock leveller. The removal of the rubbish must be carried out with the utmost safety using an approved safe system of work.Thurra’s engineers will bring to the attention of the owner / user the status of the area beneath the dock leveller and thereby potentially reduce the risk of a very dangerous situation occurring.
  3. Failure of the dock leveller lip. The failure of the lip due to a defective or distorted operating ram or hinge could cause the dock leveller to fail in operation. Such a failure could cause the moving load to fall at the rear of the lorry being loaded or unloaded. Such a failure may cause injury to the pallet truck / forklift truck operator as well as damage to the lorry and loading bay. Regular maintenance supported by a structured examination plan, can help to prevent such incidents.During the examination, the condition of the dock leveller lip, it’s hinge(s) and operating ram(s) will be assessed and any areas of concern will be brought to the attention of the owner / operator by Thurra’s engineer.
  4. Loading Bay bumper damage. Many loading bays are fitted with heavy duty bumpers which are intended to prevent lorries reversing on to the concrete structure of the loading bay and on the structure of the dock leveller. Arguably these are not part of the dock leveller, their intention is to prevent damage to the lorry the loading bay and the dock leveller. Any such damage could mean that the dock leveller would be out of operation for a period of time.Any collision from the lorry to the structure of the loading bay, including the dock leveller would be very expensive to rectify. As part of the examination, any deterioration in the bumper’s condition will be highlighted by Thurra’s engineer.
  5. Hydraulic ram and hose damage. As stated earlier it is very common to see a build-up of rubbish under the dock leveller as well as the incorrect positioning of hydraulic hoses. There is the possibility that the hydraulic hoses could become caught in the operating mechanism of the hydraulic ram. If the hydraulic ram was to become damaged resulting in an uncontrolled hydraulic leak, the dock leveller would descend and become inoperable. This would have the knock-on effect of delaying the entire logistics operation, not to mention the cost of any repair bill.Thurra’s engineers carry out an extensive examination of the underside of the dock leveller, including the condition and positioning of the hydraulic hoses. Any potential hazards are brought to the attention of the owner / user prior to leaving site.
If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to us or your Insurance Broker who will be happy to arrange a call from Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer. Further information on PUWER inspections can be found here.

The most common faults with electric overhead travelling cranes

The Thurra team of experienced Engineer Surveyors shared their findings of the most common faults they experience with electric overhead travelling cranes. Here’s what they had to say and also what you, as users can do to help avoid life threatening accidents and costly insurance claims from arising. 5 common defects on electric overhead travelling cranes:
  1. Ineffective load hook safety clips – ineffective springs, or distorted safety clips. These should be identified on any pre-use check.
  2. Pendent control markings – not marked on the underside of the crane bridge, or different legends. Sometimes when a pendent control is changed, the maintenance company forget that the legends on the underside of the bridge are of one type and then they fit a pendent with different legends.
  3. Ineffective long travel brakes – long travel brakes should be checked on a pre-use check. The capacity, the loads carried and the safe use of a crane, determine the long travel brake efficiency.
  4. Hoist rope broken wires – Engineer Surveyors assess a hoist rope against ‘ISO4309 Cranes – wire ropes – care and maintenance, inspection & discard’. This standard highlights the number of broken wires allowed in a wire rope, plus a number of other factors to consider, when assessing the hoist rope for continued service.
  5. Shock loaded hoist rope – often caused by the load ‘bouncing’ whilst being transferred between locations when using the crane. This increases the rope external diameter.
If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to your Insurance Broker who will be happy to arrange a call from Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer.

The most common faults with engine hoists

The Thurra Engineer Surveyors share their findings of the most common faults they find when inspecting engine hoists.
  1. Leaking hydraulic ram seal – These are common defects found on ageing equipment and can result in the hoist being unable to support the load. The consequences of such a defect could result in injury to the operator.
  2. Unclear indications of safe working loads at different radius – Ageing engine hoists are often seen with their safe working loads worn and illegible. This could result in dangerous, excessive loads being lifted beyond the capacity of the engine hoist with the potential to place the operator in an unsafe situation.
  3. Damaged transportation wheels – This type of defect can make for the unstable transportation of engines around the garage / workshop, creating a potentially dangerous situation for those in the vicinity.
  4. Damaged and distorted structure – Could affect the integrity of the engine hoist and its ability to lift engines in a safe and controlled manner, putting the operator and those around in a very dangerous situation.
  5. Low hydraulic oil tank level – Potentially restrict the engine hoist from lifting the engine to the required height.
Thurra’s team of experienced engineers will assess the condition of all engine hoists, advising on the condition of the equipment and whether or not any remedial action is required to ensure that it continues to operate safely and effectively. A formal written report will be sent which should be kept as confirmation of the equipment’s current status and if required should be presented to your maintenance contractor. If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to your Insurance Broker who will be happy to arrange a call from Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer. Alternatively, get in touch and one of our technical advisers will be happy to help.

The most common faults with forklift trucks

The Thurra team of engineer surveyors are out in the field, in all sorts of workplaces, inspecting plant and equipment day-in day-out, so we asked them for their thoughts on the most common faults they find with forklift trucks and what you as users can do to help avoid life threatening accidents and costly insurance claims from arising. Our engineers’ top 5 defects are as follows:
  1. Ineffective parking brakes – this defect should be picked up on daily checks. As with the parking brake on a car, if this is defective, it should be reported as a serious defect. However, our surveyor can risk-assess the client, the site and use of the truck, before deciding on an appropriate course of action.
  2. Inoperative / disconnected seat safety switches – again, should be picked up on a daily check. However, we often find these disconnected and it is apparent that the operators have carried this out. The seat switch should do one of three things: (1) cut the operation of the mast/fork controls; (2) bring the truck to a stop; or (3) just sound a warning alarm/provide a warning on the truck dash.
  3. Worn / distorted forks – the allowance for fork wear at the heels is 10% material loss. For deflection (the fork tip), this is calculated as 3% of the length of the fork. Check frequently against the original measurement.
  4. Seized load chain links – proper maintenance should prevent this. However, in harsh environments, cold store use, timber yards, the chain links can seize easily, so extra vigilance needed here.
  5. Ineffective / inoperative seat belts – again, should be picked up on a daily check. Quite often driver’s do not bother wearing them, but they should work in the correct manner. Common faults are the seat belt not locking, or the retaining clip not locking the belt in position.
If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to the usual contact at your Insurance Broker who will be happy to arrange a call to Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer who will be happy to advise.

The most common faults and legislation for fork-lift trucks and order pickers

There are 4 main pieces of legislation which need to be complied with when operating fork-lift trucks, these are:
  1. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  2. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  3. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  4. The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
Fork-lift trucks and order pickers are involved in about 25% of workplace transport accidents. To comply with the required legislation and prevent the vast majority of accidents the user / owner needs to establish a set structure of daily user checks, inspections, planned maintenance and thorough examinations. Remember that these accidents cause deaths and injuries which destroy lives and businesses. 5 most common defects associated with Fork-Lift Trucks and Order Pickers
  1. Elongation of lifting chains – Extensive experience within Thurra has shown that the chains on fork-lift trucks and order pickers can endure years of safe lifting if the primary lifting components are maintained and thoroughly examined at set intervals. Once chains start to stretch, they start to lose some of their strength characteristics causing them to fail catastrophically. If supporting a load, the resultant failure could result in serious injury or even death to the operator or personnel in the vicinity. Thurra experienced engineers assess the condition of the lifting chains at every examination, taking measurements which are used to determine if they are fit for continued use.
  2. Excessive wear of the fork heel – By their very nature and the environment that fork-lift trucks and order pickers work in, forks tend to wear at the heel. This is generally caused by the abrasive action of the forks rubbing on the ground. As metal is removed due to such action, the strength capability of the forks is reduced. Excessive wear means that the fork-lift trucks and order pickers are operating beyond their design capability and in such cases could put in danger the lives and equipment in the vicinity. As part of the thorough examination, the condition of the forks are assessed and any areas that need attention are brought to the notice of the owner / user in sufficient time to prevent an accident and operational down time.
  3. Lifting chain anchorage points seized / damaged – The lifting chains anchorage points are generally positioned on fork-lift trucks and order pickers out of sight and are generally not included in any daily user checks. Failure of these anchorage points would result in the load being moved becoming unsupported and thereby causing the potential for a major accident. As part of our thorough examination, we check the structural integrity of the anchorage points and if required notify the owner / user of any remedial actions required.
  4. Poorly functioning brakes – The condition of the brakes is of paramount importance. Fork-lift trucks are often used on loading ramps and on dock levellers, when loading and unloading lorries. In these situations, poorly functioning brakes could result in the fork-lift truck driver losing control of the vehicle, especially on an incline or loss of control when coming to a precise stop. In such cases there is a significant risk to life for the fork-lift operator and people in the vicinity. As well as significant damage to equipment. The condition of both the hand brake and foot brake are assessed by Thurra’s engineers at every examination. Any resultant areas that require remedial action are brought to the attention of the user / operator.
  5. Over loaded fork(s) – Every fork-lift truck and order picker are supplied with a load chart which identifies the capacity of the fork-lift truck and order picker at differing heights and reach. Overloading could cause excessive strain of the lifting forks distorting them beyond their designed profile, thereby reducing their specified capacity. It should be noted that order pickers and some fork-lift trucks are used to raise and lower personnel. Carrying out such operations on equipment that has been excessively loaded places the person being raised at a significant risk. The measurements and checks that Thurra engineers carry out at every examination are evaluated and brought to the attention of the owner operator if over loading has been identified.
Thurra’s team of experienced engineers will assess the overall condition of fork-lift trucks and order pickers, advising on the condition of the equipment and whether or not any remedial action is required to ensure that they continue to operate safely and effectively. A formal written report is produced which should be kept as confirmation of the equipment’s status and if required, presented to the maintenance contractor. If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to your Insurance Broker who will be happy to arrange a call from Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer.

The most common faults with jacks

The Thurra Engineer Surveyors share their findings of the most common faults they find when inspecting jacks.
  1. Leaking hydraulic ram seal – As with engine hoists this is a common defect found on ageing equipment and can result in the jack being unable to support the load. The consequences of such a defect could result in injury to the operator.
  2. Unclear indication of safe working load – A common defect found on ageing jacks. This could result in excessive loads being lifted beyond the capacity of the jack. This is a dangerous situation with the potential to place the operator in an unsafe position whilst attempting to lift excessive loads.
  3. Damaged base plate – All jacks need a firm flat base from which to lift. Any such defect could result risk of injury to the operator and those in the vicinity due to the instability of the load being lifted.
  4. Low hydraulic level – A low oil level could restrict the jack from lifting the load to the required height. Such a situation reduces the capability of the jack to function as intended by the manufacturer.
  5. Damaged lifting Pad – An intact lifting pad is essential to conduct any lifting operation in a safe and controlled manner.
Thurra’s team of experienced engineers will assess the condition of all jacks advising on the condition of the equipment and whether or not any remedial action is required to ensure that they continue to operate safely and effectively. A formal written report will be sent which should be kept as confirmation of the equipment’s status and if required it should be presented to your maintenance contractor. If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to your Insurance Broker who will be happy to arrange a call from Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer. Alternatively, get in touch and one of our technical advisers will be happy to help.

The most common faults with lorry mounted cranes

The Thurra Engineers’ verdict of the most common faults with lorry mounted cranes. Some very real issues here with potentially life threatening implications, highlighting how regular inspections are vital preventative measures.
  1. Sub Frame Assemble – Lorry mounted cranes have a wide range of uses from recovery of vehicles to the delivery of building supplies and as such they are in constant use in some very arduous and challenging conditions. Areas that can be overlooked are the crane’s sub frame. As part of the statutory thorough examination Thurra’s engineers will: Visually check the sub frame of the crane mounting and the lorry chassis for damage or signs of cracking and corrosion. Visually inspect all bolts and fastenings used to attach the crane to the sub frame and the sub frame to the lorry to ensure that they are not coming loose.Failure of the sub frame assemble could result in a very dangerous situation with the potential to cause injuries to those personnel in the vicinity. A failure whilst the vehicle is in transit could cause a major road traffic accident.
  2. Hydraulic leaks and signs of overall system integrity – Leaking hydraulic fluid either at a pipe union / hose or unseen leakage within the hydraulic pump / rupture valve can cause a suspended load to descend slowly or in the worst case, uncontrollably. In such incidents the hydraulic pump and motor could easily overheat and ultimately fail, whilst trying to keep the load elevated. Thereby causing significant inconvenience to the crane operator and ultimately the customer. An assessment of the condition of the hydraulic system is carried out at every examination conducted by Thurra’s engineers. With defects reported in person to the crane owner / operator so that repair actions can be undertaken, thereby preventing any down time.
  3. Slewing Mechanism – These are examined for security and wear during operation throughout its full range of movement and with the crane at maximum reach, ensuring that any limiting device operates effectively. Failure of such devices could result in injury to personnel, damage being caused to adjoining structures, damage to the load being lifted or the lorry itself. The slewing mechanism is a complex piece of equipment and generally expensive to repair / replace. Thurra’s engineers after conducting their examination will bring to the attention of the operator / owner any areas that require repair actions.
  4. Hoist Ropes – Lorry mounted cranes fitted with hoist rope are very susceptible to broken wires due to the nature of their operating environment. At every examination, the condition of the rope(s) and anchorages are examined. Any failure of the hoist rope, anchorage points or the attached lifting hook will present an immediate danger to personnel and property. The results of the examination are reported to the crane operator / owner and are recorded on the inspection report.
  5. Rated Capacity Indicators and Limiting device The rated capacity indicators and limiting devices are fitted to most modern cranes to ensure that the crane is not used to lift loads beyond their design. Any such lift could cause significant damage to the crane and in doing so endanger personnel and equipment. The function of the Rated Capacity Indicators and limiting device will be examined at every thorough examination by Thurra’s engineers. Additionally, conformation that rated capacity indicators and limiting device’s calibration status is being maintained. These functional checks and assessments will help ensure that the crane continues to operate safely and within its design specification.
Thurra’s team of experienced engineers will assess the overall condition of lorry mounted cranes, advising on the condition of the equipment and whether or not any remedial action is required to ensure that they continue to operate safely and effectively. A formal written report is produced which should be kept as confirmation of the equipment’s status and if required, presented to the maintenance contractor. If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to your Insurance Broker or get in touch for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer.

The most common faults with lifting tackle

The Thurra Engineer Surveyors share their findings of the most common faults they find when inspecting lifting tackle. In addition, some simple checks you can make to avoid life threatening and costly accidents from arising.
  1. No unique identification number – eyebolts and shackles are manufactured and sold in batches. They should have a unique identification number marked on them before entering service, failure to do this, will result in an engineer surveyor being unable to carry out an inspection, especially if there are a large number of the same items.
  2. Holes in round sling outer cases – if the inner core of the sling is exposed, these should be removed from service immediately and destroyed.
  3. Distorted eyebolt threaded shanks – again, these should be removed from service and destroyed.
  4. Material loss of 10% – any shackle, eyebolt, with material loss of 10%, or greater, should be removed from service and destroyed.
  5. Missing identification labels from slings – unless the identification number can be determined and re-marked on the item, the item should be removed from service.
If you require advice or help on any of the above, please get in touch or speak to your Insurance Broker who will be happy to arrange a call from Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer.

Lighting Gantries – rarely seen and often overlooked

Failure of lighting gantries can be attributed to any number of reasons, including but not limited to; structural components becoming overloaded, the gantry and support mechanisms being damaged or faulty, inadequate bracing or the ground support giving way. Lighting gantries move very infrequently and as such are not exposed to changing forces. However, they are very rarely seen and are very often overlooked. The collapse of a lighting gantry at anytime would be a disaster but imagine a collapse during a school’s nativity performance or sixth form prom. There are several health and safety requirements for the inspection of lighting gantries. These are:
  1. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  2. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  3. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  4. Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
The type of inspection and their frequencies should be determined by HSE guidance for the interpretation of LOLER and thorough risk assessment as required by PUWER 98. Annual inspections can be conducted by Thurra to meet the requirements of the statutory legislation and we will then report our findings to the school or college representative. Any areas of concern that require immediate action will be communicated in person at site by the Thurra engineer and followed up with a report of examination.

The most common faults with mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs)

The Thurra Engineer Surveyors share their findings of the most common faults they find when inspecting MEWPs. Also, some simple checks and measures you can implement to help avoid life threatening and costly accidents from arising.
  1. Illegible control markings – all control levers / switches should be clearly marked. These can become faded and dirty with use, so keep them clean or apply new manufacturer’s stickers.
  2. Ineffective access gates – these should open inwards and return to the closed position via a spring. If not effective, this will result in a serious defect from one of our Engineers.
  3. Access bars tied in open position – these should never be tied in the open position as they reduce the gap at the access opening. Again, this would result in a serious defect notice being issued.
  4. Inoperative tilt alarms – these should be tested on a daily basis. In most cases, these are just a rocker type switch that can be tested by hand. If the switch is mounted on a printed circuit board, the machine needs to be placed on a slope and raised. Refer to the manufacturer’s handbook for details on the type of warning function that this will inhibit.
  5. Inoperative pot-hole protection – on a scissor type machine, these are deployed between 1.8m and 2m and prevent the machine from tipping over in the event of entering a pothole or recess in the floor. These can be tested daily, but must also be tested independently to ensure they function correctly. The type of machine (refer to the manufacturer’s handbook) will determine the type of warning / function.
If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to your Insurance Broker who will be happy to arrange a call from Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer.

The most common faults with patient hoists and patient slings

There is a wide range of patient hoists and associated slings in common use in health and social care settings as manual handling aids for those that lack mobility. These hoists include, but are not limited to, pool hoists, bath hoists, ceiling hoists and mobile hoists. It therefore falls on the care provider to ensure that the staff using the equipment are properly trained and that the equipment is safe to use, is maintained and thoroughly examined. To meet the regulatory requirements of: Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 To comply with these statutory requirements, all lifting operations must be properly planned and the equipment must be thoroughly examined at suitable intervals by a competent person. Thurra’s engineers ensure that patient hoists and patient slings, as required by LOLER 1998 (Approved Code of Practice and Guidance), are thoroughly examined every 6 months. At Thurra we provide independent examinations by experienced and highly qualified engineers to ensure that the lifting equipment used in health and social care is safe to use. The 5 most common defects associated with Patient Hoists and Patient Slings
  1. Hoist, loss of hydraulic pressure. Most portable hoists, bath hoists and pool hoists consist of a small hand or electrically operated pump complete with a hydraulic ram. With constant use, some of the main components wear and in doing so may cause a hydraulic leak which is not always noticeable. Leaking hydraulic fluid can be either visible at the ram seal or pipe union. In other cases, a leak may be out of sight within the hydraulic pump or non-return valve. In either scenario such a leak may cause the person being lifted to descend slowly or in the worst case uncontrollably.
As part of the 6 monthly examination completed by Thurra, the condition of the hydraulic system is investigated and any concerns are brought to the immediate attention of the equipment owner. Thereby providing the equipment owner with the information required to ensure that only equipment that is safe is placed in service.
  1. Mobile hoist damaged transportation wheels. Once a patient has been lifted it is sometimes necessary to transport them over a short distance. Any damaged wheels will result in an uncomfortable ride and potentially an unstable situation.
The condition of the wheels, wheel locks, wheel bearings and supporting structure are examined at every visit and their condition is reported to the owner before the Thurra engineer leaves the premises.
  1. Frayed and worn hoist slings. With constant use, the condition of hoist slings will deteriorate over time. This deterioration will have a detrimental effect on the comfort of the hoist sling and ultimately its strength. In extreme circumstances there is the remote possibility that a patient, when being lifted and transported, could come out of the hoist sling and thereby sustain an injury.
Thurra’s engineers have clear guidelines as to the rejection and acceptance criteria of hoist slings. This includes any fraying of the fabric as well as the integrity of the stitching, tears, rips, loose threads, buckles and fasteners. All areas of concern are brought to the attention of the equipment owner immediately.
  1. Pool and bath hoists corroded components. Due to their location, pool and bath hoists are in constant contact with water. This will, over time, cause the metal work of the hoist to corrode. This includes the foundation bolts that keep the hoist securely in position at the water’s edge. In extreme circumstances there is the potential for the person being lifted to become unstable. It is through the regular examination of the hoist that its condition can be assessed, any potential deterioration identified and brought to the attention of the hoist owner.
The structural integrity of the pool and bath hoist is examined at every visit by Thurra’s engineers. The foundation bolts are checked to see that they remain securely fitted and that the structure of the hoist is mechanically robust for the environment that it is located.
  1. Distorted and bent lifting arms. Any distortion of the lifting arm will reduce the lifting capacity of the hoist. In doing so it puts the person being lifted at risk.
Thurra’s engineers have clear instructions regarding the structural integrity of a patient hoist. Any signs that the strength and operation of the hoist has been impaired, due to any distortion, are reported immediately to the equipment owner and advised that the equipment must be removed from service with immediate effect. If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to your Insurance Broker who will be happy to arrange a call from Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer. Find out more here.

The most common faults with tailboard lifts

Thurra’s team of experienced engineers assess the condition of tailboard lifts, advising on the condition of the equipment and whether or not any remedial action is required to ensure they continue to operate safely and effectively. A formal written report is provided which should be kept as confirmation of the equipment’s status and if required it should be presented to your maintenance contractor.
  1. Defective Safety Locks – Due to the hard-working environment that tailboard lifts operate in, it is common to see tailboard lifts with inoperative safety locks or devices which prevent the suspended load falling from the rear of a lorry or van. As part of any thorough examination conducted by Thurra, the condition of the hydraulic ram, lifting chains pulleys and the structural integrity of the tailboard lift are examined and assessed. A functional test of the safety locks is conducted. These safety devices are called into operation very rarely, so therefore the owner and operator need to be confident that when required these safety devices will operate as designed.
  2. Defective Tailboard Lift Stowage – On some tailboard lifts when the tailboard lift is not in use they can be stowed in the vertical position at the rear of the lorry / van. It is common to see the retaining brackets distorted. In such cases there is the possibility that the tailboard lift could move from its stowed position whilst the lorry / van is travelling. This could in turn contribute to a serious road traffic accident. The thorough examination conducted by Thurra will include an assessment of the condition of the tailboard lift stowage mechanism, reporting any concerns to the owner or user immediately.
  3. Strained and distorted lifting platform – Tailboard lifts are constantly lifting and lowering many different types of loads. This constant loading can, on occasions, cause the lift platform to bow. In such cases the strength of the tailboard lift and the stability of the lifted load could be compromised. In such cases there is a distinct possibility that any such load could roll off the back of the tailboard lift, injuring the operator or personnel in the vicinity. The examination conducted by Thurra would include an assessment of the tailboard lifts structural integrity.
  4. Slips on wet tailboard lifting platforms – Most tailboard lifts operate in all types of weather. When they become wet, they do present a significant slip hazard, either at ground level or when raised. As part of the examination, Thurra will assess the condition of the tailboard lift determining whether or not there is sufficient anti-slip coating in place. Slipping on a tailboard lift when raised or when at ground level presents a potentially very serious situation which can be significantly reduced with regular examinations and good maintenance routines.
  5. Defective control and interlock buttons / switches – The inadvertent movement of the tailboard lift is a serious matter which can cause serious accidents and injuries. These can be significantly reduced:
  • If the operator has clear operation controls indicated on the control panel / pendent.
  • Most tailboard lifts are fitted with a tamper proof function which prevents anyone operating the tailboard lift other that the designated operator.
Control buttons and interlock switches are examined by Thurra at every inspection ensuring that potential inadvertent movement of the tailboard lift is reduced, as much as is reasonably practicable. If you require advice or help on any of the above, please contact us or speak to your Insurance Broker to arrange a call from Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer.

The most common faults with vehicle lifting tables

The Thurra Engineer Surveyors shared their findings of the most common faults they experience when inspecting vehicle lifting tables. Here’s what they had to say and also what you can do to help avoid life threatening and costly accidents from arising.
  1. Worn or damaged radial arm jacking pad rubber pads – there should be enough material to continue to cause adhesion between the pad and the vehicle. Badly worn / damaged rubber pads are to be renewed before further use.
  2. Ineffective radial arm locks – should be checked on a daily basis, in a variety of different positions. The locks should fully engage and retain the arms in the locked position.
  3. Worn or damaged lifting ropes – these are checked by our engineer surveyors to ISO4309. If any evident, the number of broken wires are reported on. In addition, the increase, or decrease in diameter is assessed, using a Vernier calliper, plus any corrosion is also assessed.
  4. Inoperative safety switches or emergency stop switches – these should be checked daily, especially emergency stop switches. The consequences of them being inoperative could be life threatening.
  5. Loose post floor fixings – again, these can be checked for security on a daily basis. Commonly found on newly installed vehicle lifts.
In addition, all newly installed vehicle lifts and those that have been moved/re-positioned, should have a load test conducted. Further information can be found at the Garage Equipment Association website https://www.gea.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/728.pdf If you require advice or help on any of the above, please get in touch or speak to your Insurance Broker who will be happy to arrange a call for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer.