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chaz7Legislation is forcing people to think more about the safety aspects of working at height and using mobile lifting gear. One development is that hiring cherry pickers or scissor lifts is now seen as the preferred option to ladders, which are increasingly used as a last resort, with powered access becoming more popular by the day.

There’s no escaping the Health & Safety regulations in industry, and lifts and lifting gear are no exception. If you’re an employer providing lifting equipment for your operatives to use at work, you control the use of the lifting equipment in your business or you’re a safety rep, you need to be aware of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment (‘LOLER’) regulations governing how this equipment should be used and how often it should be examined.

The LOLER Regulations cover such lifting equipment as cranes, lifts, hoists, chains, ropes, slings, hooks, shackles, eyebolts, rope and pulley systems, and forklift trucks. They also cover second-hand and leased equipment.

Speaking of leased equipment, one way to ensure your lifting equipment complies with the law is to either hire it or lease it. As stated in the LOLER regulations the hire company ‘retains duties’ over how the equipment is used and maintained by their customers: in short, the hire company bears the burden of compliance.

If you’re looking for a reputable hire company, Access Link is an association of professional hirers and suppliers of access equipment. It has 27 depots and 4,400 powered access units, spread throughout the UK and Ireland.

Access Link offers a range of safe, well-maintained and modern equipment for hire – cherry pickers, powered access platforms, mobile elevated work platforms, telescopic booms, scissor lifts, scissor lift tables, skylifts, articulating booms and boom lifts.

A member of the Access Link network, Yorkshire-based access platform supplier Lifterz started trading in January 2007 and in just over two years has established itself as a leading provider of cherry pickers and scissor lifts in the North. Lifterz offers a free site survey to help customers select the right machine.

Finally, operator training is essential for everyone using lifts and lifting gear. The International Powered Access Federation accredits companies to train operators to use specific equipment. Training is carried out at IPAF-accredited training centres, which include Lifterz, or at customers’ premises. The five-year PAL (Powered Access Licence) card can be obtained by taking a one-day course.

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