The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) has launched a registration programme that is designed to ensure only qualified engineers are permitted to test, examine and maintain overhead lifting equipment. Under the new scheme, the LEEA will issue ‘TEAM’ (Test, Examine And Maintain) cards to engineers that have passed its industry-recognised Diploma examination. Employers are being urged to insist the card is shown by anyone proposing to work on overhead lifting equipment.
Launching the TEAM card at the Safety and Health Expo (Stand No. E82, Birmingham NEC May 12-14 2009), Geoff Holden, chief executive for LEEA, said: “Clearly it is vital that overhead lifting equipment remains safe to operate at all times, and this demands a range of specialist skills. Employers must also bear in mind that UK law demands all lifting equipment is subject to periodic thorough examination by a competent person. It is therefore vital that they take all the necessary steps to ensure that only properly qualified engineers are allowed to work on their lifting gear.” Geoff added: “The TEAM card is modelled on successful schemes such as the CITB’s Construction Skills Certification programme and the International Powered Access Federation’s PAL card. It is a simple and effective way of helping employers stay on the right side of the law.”
The TEAM card proves that the holder has passed the LEEA’s Diploma examination, the industry-recognised qualification for lifting equipment engineers. Supported by a range of theoretical and practical training courses, the Diploma has been running for over 50 years, and encompasses a series of modules covering different types of lifting equipment. Each of these modules concludes with a formal written examination, held annually at test centres around the world.
Each TEAM card lists the holder’s qualifications, identifying precisely the types of lifting equipment they are competent to work on. Valid for five years, the card also provides proof of the holder’s identity and employer. All the information shown can be verified by contacting the LEEA. Further reassurance is provided by the fact that TEAM cards can only be used by employees of LEEA member companies. To earn the right to full membership of the LEEA, companies must pass a rigorous technical audit. Members are then subject to further periodic audits, as long as they remain part of the LEEA.
Geoff Holden said: “All too often, overhead lifting is overlooked when it comes to implementing effective health and safety programmes. As a result, lifting-related accidents remain a significant cause of death and serious injury in workplaces across the UK and worldwide. The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) rightly demand that periodic thorough examination of lifting equipment is undertaken by a competent person. By demonstrating the holder’s competence, the TEAM card represents an extremely valuable tool for any employer looking to meet legal obligations and reduce the risk of potentially lethal equipment being used for overhead lifting.”
Established in 1944, the LEEA campaigns vigorously for higher standards of safety within the lifting industry. In addition to providing members with training and expert technical advice, the association works closely with organisations such as the Health and Safety Executive in the preparation of regulations and British, European and International standards. Member companies include those involved in the manufacture, hire, repair, refurbishment and use of lifting equipment; all are responsible for the test, examination or verification of lifting equipment. Applicants are subject to an initial technical audit before full membership is granted, and then to a continuing programme of assessments. Further details on the activities of the LEEA can be found at: www.leea.co.uk
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