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Contract lifting only one solution

LETTERS

Sir, Congratulations to Shaun Quigley on his attempt to highlight the danger of cranes and of companies not complying with legislation (Revved Up, April 14).

I can understand the HSE recognising that contract lifting is the best way of ensuring a lifting job is done properly but not all crane hire companies follow the regulations laid down by the HSE. If there is a possibility of a crane getting work they take it.This is often the case even for large hirers.

I am a CITB-trained appointed person, and a qualified slinger/signaller. I hire myself out to contractors and crane hire companies.But what I provide is the opposite to contract lifting - I provide crane hire for clients who want to use their own CITB-registered slingers.

Why? Simply because it is cheaper, they say, yet still meets Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (Loler).

They are getting a written risk assessment, a method statement, a lifting plan and a crane berthing study. Control of the lift is then passed on to a competent person.

Crane certificates are checked before lifting.

The HSE is right to visit crane hirers to promote best practice in planning, but I think it should be visiting sites more frequently to check out the cranes and those who hire them - especially the smaller sites.

As Mr Quigley points out, Loler contains several grey areas - the concept of an 'appointed person' does not appear to exist. Another area to address is how cranes comply with the new work at height regs.

There is room for improvement both by the crane hirers, those who hire them and those who use them. I am sure there is space both for the contract lifting Mr Quigley provides and for the service I provide.

Michael Roberts Appointed Person Advisory Service Chesterfield