The legislation that is relevant to lifting equipment and operations in the marine environment is The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment) Regulations 2006.
Who has responsibility under the legislation?
Primarily, the responsibility for compliance falls on the employer, or whoever is control of the vessel.
They have responsibility for ensuring that all lifting operations are properly planned, appropriately supervised and conducted in a safe manner. They also have the responsibility, through thorough examination, inspection and testing, that the employer/owner has equipment that is safe to operate and capable of operating safely.
What needs to be done?
Similar to LOLER 1998 on land, marine regulations stipulate that all equipment and accessories must strong, stable and suitable for purpose; stored in a manner that will not lead to damage or degradation; equipment must be visibly market with relevant information for safe use; lifting of persons is only done when required and correct equipment is used; equipment is thorough examined by a competent person at appropriate periods (a minimum of every 12 months) and a certificate evidencing this is retained for the life of the equipment.
Where the marine regulations differ, is when it comes to testing. Vessels are required to test their equipment (other than lifting accessories) when initially installed, following a repair or modification which may affect the strength of the equipment, and at five yearly intervals.
In October 2020, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) released a safety bulletin related to safety concerns over lifting operations on fishing vessels, and then another one in August 2021 related to lifting equipment inspections. These were released following a number of near misses, accidents and a fatality. The MCA called upon owners, operators, skippers, crews and safety advisors to ensure that vessels under their control have an sufficient inspection regime; have provided the competent person with sufficient opportunity to thorough examine equipment (including for examination beyond visual inspection, if required); have determined the parameters within manufacturer’s recommendations for continued acceptance of items of lifting equipment; have determined the frequency of inspection, including increased frequency for higher risk equipment, have a system to record all inspections and changes to lifting equipment.
So, how can Scotia Handling Services help?
Since 2013, we have been a Lloyds Register approved service supplier for the servicing and maintenance of lifeboats, launching appliances and on-load release gear as well as the general load testing of shipboard lifting appliances. Lloyds Register is the world leader in assessment of business processes and products against internationally recognised standards, therefore, this verifies the high standard of service we provide to our marine customers.
We help them ensure that they are compliant with the regulations, with minimal downtime and, therefore, minimal cost.
Our online portal is ideal for complying with the certification retention requirements and provides our customers with an easy way to access their certificates 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world.
Get in touch to see how we can help you today.