It’s hard to imagine that before WW2 most heavy lifting in industry was done by hand. Now, in our era of safer working, if goods can’t be palletised and moved by forklift, lifting gear is the obvious answer, and warehouse operators can choose from an array of products. If you don’t know where to start on your journey from manual handling, the Association of Loading and Elevating Equipment Manufacturers (ALEM) can advise.

At this point, if you are thinking of investing in lifting gear, it’s important to remember employers of people using this equipment have a burden of care. Daily and pre-use checks are vitally important and should be done in addition to scheduled servicing. Under the PUWER rules a Thorough Examination must be carried out by a competent person at least at 12- month intervals, or every six months if people travel on the lift.

With warehouses facing increasing pressure to employ a more diverse workforce, including older workers, even sack handling can be made easier with lifting gear. Swedish company TAWI’s lifting equipment handles everything from boxes to sacks, to cheese and windshields. They can turn, tilt and rotate heavy barrels, large panels and much more. TAWI’s equipment list includes vacuum lifters, hoists, cranes and mobile lifters.

The lifting gear on offer in the UK also includes working platforms, AKA scissor lifts. These are widely used in warehouse maintenance and refurbishment, but not every operation wants to own this equipment. JLG’s 1932R is the perfect rental machine for work up to 8 metres. If you want to go higher, Holland Lift is committed to ensuring the safety of everyone who uses a scissor lift to work above the ground, all the way up to 34 metres. Holland Lift’s lifting capacities range from 220 kg to 1,000 kg.

Goods lifts are another important part of the lifting gear offering. Lödige provide goods lifts for various sectors, including factories, warehouses and selfstorage units, distribution centres, supermarkets and other retail brands. Lödige also offer an online Configurator to help customers design their own lifts.

Two leading lifting gear brands Konecranes and Demag made the news earlier this year when they joined forces under one name, Konecranes Demag. Konecranes’ acquisition of Material Handling & Port Solutions in 2016 led to leading global brands such as Demag, Gottwald and Noell being added to Konecranes’ product portfolio.

Last but not least, Konecranes Demag’s British operation has been in the news recently, raising the bar for equal opportunities in logistics. KDUK has become a partner of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), and will be taking an active role in the Society, attending events and adopting best practice procedures. The company will also advertise technical vacancies on the WES website, job boards and newsletters to make job opportunities more accessible to female engineers. Vicki Shields is the Branch Manager at Konecranes UK’s Rochester service depot and Konecranes’ UK HR Director, Karen Winfield is passionate about attracting more women to technical roles. We look forward to reporting on progress

CHARLES SMITH

Feature Writer

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