C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features

Do you really know the quality of your lifting equipment?

In announcing the appointment of two new Licenced Training Centres, Justin Boehm, LEEA’s Regional General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, emphasises the need for lifting businesses to better understand the quality of the products they are lifting with.

I say this with my hand on my heart – Cranes and Lifting equipment are the backbone of all industrials. What multi-storey building could be completed without lifting apparatus? Commerce relies on shipping, so how would a port lift and shift containers? How can we transition to renewable energy by 2050, with the thousands of wind turbines that need to be erected, without bigger, better, lighter and more efficient products to gain more efficiencies from wind generation.

Pushing the limits of product design is something that has happened throughout human history – we wouldn’t have landed on the moon if we didn’t. We’re seeing this now with specifically designed products in the renewables space. The height of cranes needed to lift turbines into place, along with their exceptionally long blades and the specific products needed to hold them at their exact angles, are now the norm. As we push these limits, it’s important that any new products are designed, manufactured and tested to the standards with which they are said to comply.

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to an Australian manufacturer about their world class products. One of the key components to that success, they said, was the testing that takes place to ensure it complies to the relevant Australian Standard. This was an eye opener, but something members have raised for the entirety of my time with LEEA. It’s interesting to ponder – Do procurement teams understand the risks associated with the equipment they’re buying, and if price is always the deciding factor – when will the next fatality occur?

Knowledge is power goes the adage. In our industry it’s called competence – a fuzzy word that is bandied about regularly, but adding knowledge and skills to this discussion needs to be a high priority. Competence takes numerous forms, and in LEEA’s case is usually used to highlight someone’s ability to inspect lifting equipment. However, procurement must be discussed. When ordering product with relatively low value, is there a level of “competence” needed, so there is a true understanding of what that product is required to do and what standard it’s manufactured to? When lifting operations take place the value of the products being lifted is high, so why are decisions to purchase lifting equipment usually based on the lowest bid?

In researching for this article, I visited Australia’s favourite hardware store – “Hammerbarn” (thanks Bluey), and looked at who was the signatory on a selection of slings that I purchased. It was the same signatory over five different varieties.

LEEA’s end user guidance is a good opportunity for procurement professionals to understand the nuances of the lifting equipment industry and how to identify quality products that comply to LEEA’s global standards.

  • May marked the beginning of a new era for LEEA’s globally renowned training via our Licensed Training Centres (LTC). Both Tower Crane Training in Sydney and ATC Offshore in Perth, our LTC Partners, ran their first full Face to Face Foundation courses.

LEEA has long been at the forefront of promoting safety and excellence in the lifting industry and our training is seen as minimum requirement for those inspecting Lifting Equipment. Now, the LTCs are taking this commitment to a new level by delivering our specialised courses, to empower lifting equipment inspection professionals through local face to face training.

The LTCs are delivering Foundation, Lifting Accessories and Manual Lifting Machines training to our industry specialists. These three courses form the backbone of LEEAs Certificate IV in Lifting Equipment Testing and Inspection. The LTCs are Registered Training Organisations, meaning their delivery is in accordance with the Australian Skills Quality Authority framework.

Tracy and Warwick from Tower Crane Training are an exceptional team, who have a total of three trainers inducted into the LTC program. TCT has been training in the construction industry for over eight years, but Warwick has been a SafeWork NSW Accredited Assessor in Crane Operator and Rigging skills since 2011

Peter Schwarz and the team at ATC Offshore in Perth have been training professionals in the oil and gas industry for 12 years. The industry skills and knowledge of their LTC accredited trainers tallies over 150 years.

We’re excited to have them both onboard and delivering this game changing training for our industry.

LEEA’s Regional Manager, Australia and New Zealand, Justin Boehm.
Image: Prime Creative


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