Are Your Lifting Devices Safe?

12 May, 2020 | Blog

Mario Gignac

MARIO GIGNAC, P.Eng.

Department Manager, Structure

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Jonathan Hamel

JONATHAN HAMEL, P.Eng.

Engineer, Structure

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Do you own lifting equipment that is more than 10, 20 or even 30 years old? Over time, the engineering documentation for this equipment may have been misplaced. Also, years of wear and the presence of corrosion could make this equipment less safe to operate. In other cases, it may be hand-crafted equipment that does not comply with any standards, posing an immediate risk to user safety. While standards, codes and laws have evolved, this equipment has remained unchanged.

Current health and safety laws, as well as civil and criminal liability codes, no longer tolerate such installations. In fact, they now require employers to register their lifting equipment in addition to regularly monitoring and maintaining it.

Legal framework

Structures that support lifting equipment are covered by several laws. Under Québec’s Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety, and Canada’s Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, employers can be held criminally liable if the work environment and equipment are not safe for workers.

Lifting equipment and associated structures must be inspected annually. When a piece of equipment has not been used for more than one year, it must be inspected before use. The Canadian standard—CSA B167-16 – Overhead cranes, gantry cranes, monorails, hoists, and jib cranes—outlines the rules to follow for maintaining and inspecting this equipment. These rules cover hazards, inspections, maintenance, design requirements, operator training and testing, where applicable.

Older structures that have no documentation indicating their actual lifting capacity must be certified before use. The steel structure must also be inspected. Moreover, a structural verification must be carried out based on the equipment type, frequency of use and safety factors related to current design standards.

As a manager, you are responsible for ensuring the safety of your employees when lifting heavy loads.

You can count on BBA

Our team is up to date with the standards and laws that apply to lifting equipment and can provide you with the right advice. These standards and pieces of legislation are listed at the end of this article.

If your structures are old or damaged, or if there is any doubt about their safety, BBA can certify the structure and the runway track supporting the lifting device and, if necessary, guide you in choosing new equipment.

Contact us for more information.

Reference standards and laws

  • Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety
  • Bill C-21: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal liability of organizations, s. 217.1)
  • Standard CSA B167-16: Overhead cranes, gantry cranes, monorails, hoists, and jib cranes
  • Standard CSA S16: Design of steel structures
  • CMAA 74: Specifications for Top Running & Under Running Single Girder Electric Traveling Cranes Utilizing Under Running Trolley Hoist (USA)

This content is for general information purposes only. All rights reserved ©BBA

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