The key responsibilities and personnel to provide a safe lift are outlined below:
Appointed Person: Under BS7121 Part 1 the role of the Appointed Person is to provide a safe system of working by:
Properly planning the lifting operation by the preparation of a comprehensive Risk Assessment and Method Statement. In producing these documents the Appointed Person must take account of:
The site – access and egress, gradients, ground type, excavations, overhead electric or telephone cables and other proximity hazards.
Potential weather conditions, in particular wind and thunderstorms.
Selecting a crane of suitable capacity to perform the operation with an adequate margin of safety including:
Selecting the appropriate load handling equipment, including chains, slings, lifting beams, spreaders, lifting eyes etc. taking account of:
The load – weight and dimensions, lift points, sharp edges and location before and after the lifting operation.
The weight of the equipment to be used and the impact on the overall weight to be lifted.
Determining the method of attaching the load to the crane (the slinging technique).
The Appointed Person must prepare the Risk Assessment and Method Statement himself, but may delegate some or all of the other duties to a competent person such as a Crane Supervisor or other competent person who could take responsibility for the lifting operation on site. Any amendments to the Risk Assessment or Method Statement that may be necessary due to changes in site conditions must be approved by the Appointed Person.
Crane Supervisor: The Crane Supervisor directs and supervises the lifting operation if this responsibility has been delegated to himby the Appointed Person. He therefore accepts all the duties and responsibilities that the Appointed Person would perform on site and ensures the lift is carried out in accordance with the Method Statement. He has the authority to halt the operation if he considers it dangerous to proceed.
Crane Operator: The Crane Operator is responsible for the safe working of the crane within the safe system of work (the Risk Assessment and Method Statement) and the manufacturer’s instructions. The crane operator should:
Be trained on the specific model of crane being used
Understand and follow instructions in the Method Statement, duties chart and operating manual of the crane
Rig the crane safely.
Understand the effects of various weather conditions on the safety of the lift.
Be able to take action to avoid dangerous situations.
Understand that the lifting of the load is under his control and be able to stop the operation if it becomes unsafe.
Slinger/Signaller/Banksman: The duties of Signaller, Slinger and Banksman are often combined in to one person’s responsibility and it is usual for thisperson to be competent and certified in all three functions. However, on larger or more complex lifts these duties may be performed by separate individuals and the duties are described separately below;
Slinger: The Slinger is responsible for attaching and detaching the load and for using the correct lifting equipment in accordance with the Method Statement. The Slinger directs the Crane Operator to take the weight of the lift load and ensures the load is safely slung before it is lifted to any height. The Slinger is also responsible for checking there are no overhead obstacles and for the attachment of a tag line for controlling the load once suspended, if required by the Method Statement or site conditions.
Signaller: Once the load is suspended the Signaller relays directions to the Crane Operator for the movement of the load to its destination using either specified hand signals or via radio communications. If more than one Signaller is being used only one Signaller must give instructions at any one time and a safe system of transfer should be in place as responsibility moves between Signallers.
Banksman: The Banksman is responsible for guiding the crane safely on and off site, especially when the crane is reversing or performing tight manoeuvres. He is also responsible for directing the Crane Operator to the correct location shown on the Berthing Study (part of the Method Statement) and for ensuring there is hazard free access and egress and movement around site if lifts take place in different locations on site.