Throughout 2023, the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) has taken significant strides to increase its presence and impact.
Earlier this year we launched our inaugural LiftEx event in Sydney, where we celebrated the dedication of our members in the lifting equipment industry. This event held special significance as it was the first time LiftEx had ventured beyond the UK. The resounding success of this LiftEx 2023 has paved the way for an even larger and more impactful event scheduled for September 2024.
Making use of LiftEx as a platform, we introduced the Certificate IV in Lifting Equipment Testing and Inspection to the industry. This achievement has marked a significant shift in the industry’s landscape. Professionals within the lifting equipment sector now have access to a nationally accredited training program, which serves as a platform for industry recognised competence. This education initiative stands as a testament to the industry’s commitment to practical expertise and is a recognition of professionalism.
An additional significant stride taken this year is the launch of the Accredited Training Scheme (ATS) in Australia and New Zealand, with the first member being accredited to this program recently. The ATS has been instrumental in providing essential training to end-users worldwide for several years. Originally focused on the UK, the ATS now has active members in Europe, Asia, The Middle East and now Australia.
In recognition of the global significance of lifting equipment training, training providers seek LEEA’s accreditation for their programs. These programs complement the renowned industry-specific training offered by LEEA. All ATS members undergo rigorous audits of their course materials, trainers, and facilities to ensure consistency and quality. Trainers are appropriately qualified and experienced, while facilities are reviewed to ensure a comfortable and conducive learning environment.
This is a significantly important development, as research conducted by LEEA has revealed a common cause behind many lifting equipment-related incidents is failure to identify defects and risks prior to use. Given the critical nature of safety in industries that involve heavy lifting, addressing these issues is of paramount importance.
Ensuring safety within the lifting industry is non-negotiable. The consequences of failed lifting equipment can be catastrophic – accidents, injuries, property damage and fatalities are unfortunately the outcome, at times, of poor training. Comprehensive training programs, particularly those offered through LEEA’s framework, play a pivotal role in equipping industry technicians with the requisite knowledge and skills to inspect equipment thoroughly during statutory and periodic inspection, but with the addition of the ATS, end users can now look at proactive, industry-backed training to assist mitigation of risks and promote a safer working environment prior to each lift.
The training programs offered by LEEA’s ATS members create a mechanism through which hazards, and risks can be highlighted, explored, explained and therefore, we hope, removed before use. LEEA’s vision—to eliminate accidents, injuries and fatalities in the lifting and height safety industries—is no small feat. This ambitious objective is underpinned by a strong mission statement: To educate, influence and enable so that best practice is everyday action. LEEA firmly believes that achieving these objectives is within reach, and the ATS is a strategic tool that will push us forward in that mission.
The ATS program is designed to address a recurring concern shared across many of our affiliated industry associations: pre-use inspections being overlooked – a gap that has been left open by degraded high risk licence training. With ATS members taking on the role of influential trainers, they will shed light on crucial aspects to watch out for during pre-use inspections. The aim of the ATS is to instil knowledge that becomes an integral part of daily operations, thereby enhancing industry-wide safety. In a region where the “she’ll be right” mentality regularly creeps in, we must ensure pre-use checks and safe-use is built in to every day practice and we must foster regular training to ensure safety is constantly the top priority.
Adhering to standards, regulations and legislations are not merely legal obligations but moreso, these are a moral responsibility to safeguard the well-being of people on-site. Ill-trained operators pose a threat to those around them, shirking regulatory compliance, potentially leading to hefty fines, jail time and significant reputational damage for companies who run the site. These practices should be a thing of the past – they are however very present. Thorough training ensures that end-user operators remain updated on the latest industry standards and regulations, facilitating a culture of safety and compliance industry wide.
In industries where heavy lifting is an integral part of daily operations, conducting thorough pre-use checks on lifting equipment assumes paramount importance. Professionals in lifting-related roles are tasked with complex lifts that impact both productivity and safety. The value of comprehensive training for these professionals cannot be overstated. Therefore, comprehensive training before utilising lifting equipment is not just important—it’s an absolute necessity for end-users.
The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association’s strides in 2023 have brought about changes in the industry. The LiftEx event in Sydney, the introduction of nationally accredited training and the launch of the ATS program all stand as testament to LEEA’s commitment to safety, professionalism, and excellence. As industries involving heavy lifting navigate intricate challenges, LEEA’s contributions continue to shape a safer and more responsible landscape for everyone involved.
ANZ Manager, LEEA
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