FEM revises guidance on lifting people

18 June 2012

FEM has revised its 2011 position paper on the use of mobile cranes to lift people

FEM has revised its 2011 position paper on the use of mobile cranes to lift people

Fédération Européenne de la Manutention (FEM) has revised its guidance on the use of cranes to lift people in connection with leisure activities.

Position paper FEM N0284, issued on 16 May 2011 by FEM Product Group Cranes and Lifting Equipment Sub Group Mobile Cranes, on the use of mobile cranes for lifting people, was interpreted in different ways. This resulted in further discussion, between FEM, ESTA (European Association of Abnormal Load Transport and Mobile Cranes), and Events in the Sky (E.I.T.S.) / Fungroup, owner of Dinner in the Sky. The technical discussion was based on the general principles of risk assessment.

The position paper stated that standard mobile cranes are not designed or intended to lift people; "they may be used to hoist and suspend personnel in man baskets only in unique work situations when it is the least hazardous way to do the job. As such the use of standard mobile cranes to suspend persons and/or devices for entertainment purposes is also not intended.

"Any use of mobile cranes outside the intended use stipulated by the manual is under the full and sole responsibility of the owner/user," the paper reads.

In the new revised guidance FEM said it believes that a mobile crane can be used to lift people if additional requirements are fulfilled.

As an example of an application for lifting of persons, analysis was made of the involvement of cranes in the Dinner in the Sky activity. On this, FEM concluded, "It is believed that it is possible that Dinner in the Sky could achieve compliance with the Machinery Directive and other relevant regulations once further assessed by third party."

The revised paper includes advice on lifting people as follows:

"When considering lifting of persons, it is required to perform a full and comprehensive risk assessment for the entire application by comparing the standards to which the mobile crane to be used has been designed and manufactured (e.g. EN13000) with relevant national law and standards first of all for:

- General safety regulation/law (e.g. 2006/42/EC Machinery Directive)

- Safety regulation/law for Work Equipment (e.g. 2009/104/EC Work Equipment Directive)

- Standard for Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (e.g. EN280)

- Standard for Fairground Equipment (e.g. EN13814).

The risk assessment shall consider all relevant risks for the specific application. Furthermore, all additional laws and standards in force in the country of use and relevant for the entire application should be considered, thus the list of laws and standards quoted is not exhaustive.

For all risks identified and not covered by design and manufacture of the mobile crane adequate counter measures should be defined. Adequate counter measures can be:

- Technical measures

- Limiting the configurations to be used

- Limiting the functions, e.g. switching off certain functions

- Application of defined procedures to abate risk, which are used and practiced.

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